MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic review was performed in the main databases, using English, French and Spanish as languages, from 2008 to 2013. Reporting and methodological quality was rated with the Appraisal of Guidelines, Research and Evaluation II (AGREE-II) tool, including an inter-rater reliability analysis. Guideline recommendations were extracted and classified into several categories and levels of evidence, aiming to analyse guidelines variability and evidence-based content comprehensiveness.
RESULTS: Six guidelines were included. A wide variability was found in both reporting and methodological quality of guidelines, as well as in the content and the level of evidence of their recommendations. The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network guideline was the best rated using AGREE-II, while the Sociedad Española de Oncología Médica guideline was the worst rated. The Ministry of Health Malaysia guideline was the most comprehensive, and the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network guideline was the second one.
CONCLUSIONS: The current guidelines on cancer pain management have limited quality and content. We recommend Ministry of Health Malaysia and Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network guidelines, whilst Sociedad Española de Oncología Médica guideline still needs to improve.