World Health Organization recommendations are often strong based on low confidence in effect estimates. Expert guideline panelists are sometimes reluctant to offer weak/conditional/contingent recommendations. Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) guidance warns against strong recommendations when confidence in effect estimates is low or very low, suggesting that such recommendations may seldom be justified. We aim to characterize the classification of strength of recommendations and confidence in estimates in World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines that used the GRADE approach and graded both strength and confidence (GRADEd). We reviewed all WHO guidelines (January 2007 to December 2012), identified those that were GRADEd, and, in these, examined the classifications of strong and weak and associated confidence in estimates (high, moderate, low, and very low).
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