This session will benefit policy makers, guideline developers and academics who work in the field of systematic reviews and research synthesis, guideline development and implementation. This session is aimed at participants with any level of knowledge.
- to present new concepts and proposed methods for developing questions for systematic reviews and guidelines, synthesising and appraising the evidence, and formulating recommendations that involve complex interventions in complex systems; and,
- to elicit feedback on proposed additional criteria for the evidence-to-decision framework used when formulating recommendations related to complex interventions.
The session will begin with five short presentations on the principal elements of research synthesis and guideline development for complex interventions and systems:
- Conceptualising complex interventions – What are the implications of complex systems for systematic reviews of complex interventions? For framing the review question?
- From evidence to recommendations – Can the current GRADE/DECIDE criteria do justice to complex interventions? Are additional considerations needed?
- Quantitative data – How can systematic reviews of complex interventions best assess and reflect the inherent variability across studies in terms of contexts, participants, interventions and outcomes? How should quantitative evidence be synthesised and presented when meta-analysis is not feasible?
- Qualitative data – For what types of questions are qualitative data and mixed-methods syntheses likely to add value? What are the options for synthesising such evidence?
- Assessing the quality (certainty) of the body of evidence – Does the GRADE approach need to be modified for complex interventions?
This will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a discussion focusing on several key questions posed by the presenters. An interactive audience response system will be used to receive feedback on proposed additions to the current GRADE/DECIDE evidence-to-decision framework.