SAGES guidelines: an appraisal of their quality and value by SAGES members

Rebecca C. Dirks, Danielle Walsh, Stephen Haggerty, Geoffrey P. Kohn, Aurora Pryor, Dimitrios Stefanidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) Guidelines Committee develops evidence-based guidelines for practicing surgeons using standard methodology. Our objective was to survey the SAGES membership regarding guidelines’ quality, use, and value and identify topics of interest for new guideline development. Methods: An anonymous online survey was emailed in October 2019 to SAGES members. Respondents were asked 18 questions on their use and evaluation of SAGES guidelines and SAGES reviews and to provide suggestions for new guideline topics and areas of improvement. The survey was open for 6 weeks with a 3-week reminder. Results: Of 548 responders, most were minimally invasive (41%) or general surgeons (33%). There was an even distribution between academic (46%) and non-academic practice (24% private practice, 23% hospital employed). Most used SAGES guidelines frequently (22%) or occasionally (68%) and found them to be of value (83%), above average quality (86%), and easy to use (74%). While most stated it was important (35%) or very important (58%) that SAGES continues to follow “rigorous guidelines development processes,” common suggestions were for more timely updates and improved web access. Of 442 overlapping topic suggestions, 60% fell into overarching categories of hernia, bariatric, robotic, HPB, and colorectal surgery. Conclusions: The SAGES guidelines are used frequently and valued by its users for their quality and content. Topics proposed by SAGES members and valuable insight from this survey can guide creation of new guidelines and refinement of established guidelines and processes.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalSurgical Endoscopy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Feb 2021


  • Guidelines
  • Implementation science
  • Surveys and questionnaires

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