Clinical practice guidelines and experts' consensuses of traditional Chinese herbal medicine for novel coronavirus (COVID-19): Protocol of a systematic review

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Background: The World Health Organization declared on March 11, 2020, that the spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) has escalated from epidemic into pandemic. As the initial outbreak area, China has taken multiple active measures to deal with the epidemic. Updated versions of diagnosis and treatment guideline for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) patients have been issued, and traditional Chinese herbal medicine has been recommended as a treatment. The objective of this study will be to summarize the recommendations in current clinical practice guidelines about the use of traditional Chinese herbal medicine for COVID-19 patients. We will also evaluate and report on the methodological and reporting quality of these guidelines. Methods: In this systematic review, we will search for guidelines, expert consensuses, and policy documents published since December 2019 in electronic databases (e.g., PubMed, EMBASE, and Chinese databases) and on websites of governments or organizations (e.g., The National Guideline Clearinghouse [NGC], Guidelines International Network [GIN], National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network [SIGN], and WHO). Eligible documents will be independently selected, and relevant data will be independently extracted by two reviewers. We will also independently evaluate the methodological quality and reporting quality of the included guidelines, using the Appraisal of Guidelines for REsearch & Evaluation (AGREE) II tool and Reporting Items for Practice Guidelines in Healthcare (RIGHT) statement, respectively. Any discrepancies will be discussed and resolved through discussion among the reviewers. We will use the extracted information to summarize their recommendations for traditional Chinese herbal formulae and Chinese patent medicine for COVID-19 patients and to summarize the strength and quality of these recommendations with reference to the results of AGREE II and RIGHT tools. Discussion: This review will summarize the recommendations in current clinical practice guidelines and provide insight into the implementation strategies for traditional Chinese herbal medicine in COVID-19 patients. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42020179205




Li, Y., Li, J., Zhong, D., Zhang, Y., Zhang, Y., Guo, Y., … Jin, R. (2020). Clinical practice guidelines and experts’ consensuses of traditional Chinese herbal medicine for novel coronavirus (COVID-19): Protocol of a systematic review. Systematic Reviews, 9(1).

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