INTRODUCTION: Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), statements that include recommendations intended to optimise patient care, play a critical role in standardising and improving treatment outcomes based on best evidence. It is currently unclear how many CPGs are available globally to assist clinicians in the management of patients with skin disease.
OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to search for and identify CPGs for dermatological conditions with the highest burden globally.
METHODS: We adapted a list of 12 dermatological conditions with the highest burden from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study 2019. A broad systematic literature search was conducted to identify CPGs published between October 2014 to October 2019. The scoping review was conducted and reported in accordance with the PRISMA framework.
RESULTS: A total of 226 CPGs were included. Melanoma had the greatest representation in the CPGs, followed by dermatitis and psoriasis. Skin cancers had the highest CPGs representation overall but with lower GBD disease burden ranking. There was an uneven distribution by geographical region, with resource-poor settings being under-represented. The CPGs' skin disease categories correlated weakly with the GBD disability-adjusted life-years metrics. 89 CPGs did not have funding disclosures and 34 CPGs were behind a paywall.
CONCLUSION: The global production of dermatology CPGs showed wide variation in geographical representation, article accessibility and funding reporting. The number of skin disease CPGs were not commensurate with its disease burden. Future work will critically appraise the methodology and quality of dermatology CPGs and lead to the production of an accessible online resource summarising these findings.