Over 200 clinical recommendation statements were evaluated independently by at least two evaluators through the use of the validated assessment tool, AGREE (www.agreecollaboration.org).

AGREE is made up of twenty-three items to be evaluated. These items are regrouped into six categories: Scope, Stakeholder Involvement, Rigor of Development, Clarity, Applicability, and Editorial.

The percentage calculations of each category and the technique that evaluates the quality of each EBCPG have been clearly explained by the AGREE research group. For further details concerning AGREE methodology, please consult their web site.



A systematic Internet search was conducted using a list of web sites provided by Jessie McGowan, a scientific librarian. Each web site was examined using keyword searches through the web site's search engine.

To expand the search, the evaluators also examined the web site's links for other potential web sites containing EBCPGs. Once a preliminary database was established, the selection criteria were applied to the EBCPGs. At least two evaluators analyzed the EBCPGs to ensure that the guidelines selected met the inclusion criteria.

Initial selection criteria was established and applied to potential articles:

Identification of Authors: The authors' names must be clearly indicated.The Inclusion of a Reference List of Scientific Publications: The selected EBCPG must be based on scientific data.

Full Publications of EBCPGs Must Be Available on the Internet: One of the goals of this study is to create a database of documents accessible to the greatest number of clinicians and students.

All EBCPGs Must Be Written in French or English.Release Date: Only recent publications (within the last five years) are eligible.Assessment or Treatment: Professional associations and organizations often publish "guidelines" pertaining to ethics or practice standards, as opposed to clinical practice itself. These guidelines were excluded. Only guidelines referring to clinical practice were selecte..

Relevance to the Field: All documents containing relevant information are considered, regardless of whether they were produced by physiotherapy professionals.Here are the guidelines that were searched but not included. Excluded EBPCGs (PDF 45Kb).

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