Understanding context in evidence synthesis and guideline development – connecting global evidence and local needs


Workshop session 4: Thursday, 11:00-12:30

Workshop category: 

  • Methods for conducting syntheses (including different evidence, searching and information retrieval, statistics, assessing methodological quality)


Date and Location


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


Contact persons and facilitators

Contact person:


Sue Lukersmith
Teun Zuiderent-Jerak
Sietse Wieringa
Beth Shaw


Target audience

Target audience: 

Guideline and systematic review developers; users of guidelines and systematic reviews, including practitioners, health service consumers and policy makers.

Level of difficulty: 

Type of workshop

Type of workshop : 



• To define context;
• Explore where & how context should be considered;
• Identify methodological challenges in context knowledge.

Description: Many sources of knowledge and reasoning are used in evidence synthesis and guideline development. This can include knowledge of context – understanding the situation in which something exists or happens, and what can explain it . Randomised-controlled trials (RCTs) typically focus on treatment effects, rather than context of evaluation & practice. So understanding context requires a range of evidence & knowledge from different sources & different approaches to reasoning.
The session will take the form of an interactive workshop, allowing shared discussion and full participation from a range of disciplines & perspectives.

1) Introduction
2) Presentation
 Why does context matter? The philosophical argument & varied - micro, macro, etc. - perspectives of context
3) Small group work with facilitators
 Participants will discuss context & how this might influence effectiveness of interventions.
4) Key themes
5) Small group work with facilitators
 Participants will be asked to consider when context is relevant to key stages of evidence synthesis and guideline development, and how they might source evidence of context
6) Key themes
7) Methodological work
8) Close
Please note, this workshop links with the special session on 'Global needs, local evidence; practical philosophy'.