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Jéssica Rodrigues da Silva Noll Gonçalves 1 Article
Quality of biosafety guidelines for dental clinical practice throughout the world in the early COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review
Renata Cristina Soares, Juliana Schaia Rocha, Saulo Vinicius da Rosa, Jéssica Rodrigues da Silva Noll Gonçalves, Priscilla Lesly Perlas Condori, Ana Elisa Ribeiro, Samuel Jorge Moysés, Márcia Helena Baldani
Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021089.   Published online October 22, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2021089
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Abstract
OBJECTIVES
To conduct a systematic review of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related biosafety guidelines for dental clinical practice in the early stage of the pandemic, focusing on quality assessment.
METHODS
Electronic (via PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature database, Brazilian Library in Dentistry, and Cochrane Library) and gray literature searches were performed for documents published up to May 12, 2020. Guidelines updated until April 17, 2021 were identified. Documents were included as guidelines if they (1) consisted of a set of statements, directions, or principles presenting current or future rules or policy; (2) were developed by government agencies, institutions, organizations, or expert panels; and (3) were related to the general conduct of healthcare activities rather a particular condition. Two researchers, using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research & Evaluation II, independently extracted the recommendations and evaluated the quality of the guidelines.
RESULTS
Twenty-seven documents from 19 countries were included in the review. These documents presented 122 recommendations related to (1) professional biosafety; (2) patients’/companions’ safety; (3) the organization and biosafety of the physical dental facility environment; and (4) the work process in dental care. Overall, the scientific quality of the guidelines was considered low. Some recommendations presented in these guidelines would require further research to establish their effectiveness.
CONCLUSIONS
We found a wide variety of biosafety guidelines for dental practice regarding COVID-19 in the early months of the pandemic, but their quality was low. Biosafety recommendations should be frequently updated.
Summary
Korean summary
Key Message
Despite the wide variety of biosafety guidelines for dental practice regarding COVID-19 in the early months of the pandemic, their quality was low. These findings demonstrate the need for more guidelines for dental practice with more high-quality evidence, focusing on clarification of the strictness of development, financing, conflicts of interest, and applicability. Guidelines with high scientific quality are essential for the formation of a robust scientific consensus facilitating the ability to offer safer and more reliable procedures in the pandemic context.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health