Integrating different forms of research evidence into the intervention systematic review: what additional knowledge can be ascertained?




Short oral session 6: Evidence synthesis methods


Thursday 14 September 2017 - 11:00 to 12:30


All authors in correct order:

Greenwood M1, Virendrakumar B1, Wargent M1, Jolley E1, Schmidt E1
1 Sightsavers, United Kingdom
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author:

Margo Greenwood

Contact person:

Abstract text
Background: With disability often investigated as a social construct and a greater emphasis being put on a participant’s voice and lived experience, the traditional systematic review (SR) may not be best suited in terms of utility and impact at a programmatic level to a disability-focused international non-governmental organisation (NGO). This presentation describes and discusses methods used by Sightsavers to integrate different forms of evidence into an existing traditional intervention SR (Tripney et al. 2015) via a supplementary SR.

Objectives:1.To address the same research questions by reviewing literature excluded from the original SR on methodological grounds.
2. To understand the added value of integrating research evidence for Sightsavers.

Methods: A brief screening questionnaire was developed followed by a critical appraisal performed on the original review (SURE tool). A critical-appraisal process was developed to assess the relevance, validity and bias in the included research studies. Information was extracted from eligible publications through a specially developed data-extraction form that covered sample and participant characteristics, intervention type, substantive and descriptive study features, and findings and author recommendations. Data were collated for analysis, which took a narrative approach.

Results: Twelve studies were finally added in the supplementary review. Their findings include:
- a need to establish, extend and deepen processes of shared learning in order to demonstrate best practice when implementing interventions;
- a widespread need for central co-ordination of resources and information in order to refine practice, target resources and jump-start strategic programmes; and,
- that people with disabilities should be central to the design and implementation of interventions.

Conclusions: The additional 12 studies provided limited information to answer the original questions; they largely provided supporting information regarding the intervention or the context. The inclusion of different types of research evidence allowed for greater integration of reflexive accounts of research contexts.