Background: user-friendly information at the point of care (POC) should be well structured, rapidly accessible and comprehensive. There is no standard tool to evaluate the trustworthiness of such POC information resources.
Objectives: we aim to describe and analyze the available tools to assess the trustworthiness of POC information resources.
Methods: we used standard systematic review methods and registered our protocol at PROSPERO. We selected all materials reporting on tools, including checklists and criteria, to assess the trustworthiness of POC information resources. Tools had to be developed for professionals and published by multiple authors. We excluded tools that assess information for patients and tools to assess the quality of mobile applications. Two review authors selected tools independently. For each tool, we assessed potential risk of bias in the developmental phase, such as lack of validity and reliability assessment. One review author performed data extraction and a second review author checked it. We described similarities and differences of the characteristics and content of the retrieved tools.
Results: we included 17 tools. All were developed between 1997 and 2014. The development process of all tools was poorly described. Only two of the 17 tools were assessed for reliability, and six tools had a scoring system to quantify the trustworthiness of POC information resources. Items of criteria in the tools referred to one of three main categories: 1) editorial quality; 2) evidence-based methodology; and 3) design and usability of the source. Editorial quality covers a clear definition of content, references to primary sources, review policy, authorship of content and ownership of the POC source, and reporting of financial aspects such as conflict of interests and sponsoring and advertising policy. Evidence-based methodology covers a clearly focused research question or aim, thorough literature search and surveillance, and formal grading of evidence. Design and usability covers the visual presentation, search and navigability possibilities.
Conclusions: based on tools described in the literature, different items important for the assessment of trustworthiness of POC information could be defined and will be used to design a new instrument to assess the trustworthiness of POC information.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: no patients or consumers were involved in this systematic review.