Background: The reporting quality of practice guidelines is often poor. There is no widely accepted guidance and there are no standards for the reporting of healthcare guidelines.
Objectives: To develop essential reporting items for guidelines in health care to ensure the comprehensive and transparent reporting of such guidelines.
Methods: Systematic reviews and a modified Delphi process were used to identify and select reporting items.
Results: An international working group (the RIGHT working group) has been set up. We developed a checklist for guideline developers, as well as an explanation and elaboration document. The RIGHT statement is a checklist of 22 items that we consider essential for good reporting of practice guidelines (Table 1). These items encompass basic information (items 1-4), background (items 5-9), evidence (items 10-12), recommendations (items 13-15), independent reviews (items 16-17), funding and declaration of conflicts of interest (items 18-19), and other information (items 20-22).
Conclusions: Clear, transparent, structured and sufficiently detailed guidelines are critical not only for guidelines developers but also for users. Failure to report important information about methods, conflicts of interest, context, and rationale, may lead to difficulty in evaluating, interpreting and implementing guidelines. We recommend that guideline developers and users support and endorse the standardization of guideline reporting.