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Approach

 

The inventory of best evidence syntheses was developed and is maintained using the following approach:

  • one individual ‘harvests’ evidence syntheses from all sources in the guide to key COVID-19 evidence sources (and this harvesting will happen bi-weekly once harvesting has been completed for all existing sources)
  • pairs of experienced staff members each independently apply ‘filters’ to each evidence synthesis for all parts of the COVID-END taxonomy of decisions (and resolve any differences by consensus)
  • pairs of more junior staff members each independently extract information about the date of search, the availability of an evidence profile, whether it is ‘living,’ the type of synthesis (e.g., full review, rapid review or protocol), and the type of question addressed (e.g., benefits and harms, views and experiences, and how and why an intervention works) for each evidence synthesis (and resolve any differences by consensus)
  • pairs of junior staff members each independently assess the quality of each evidence synthesis using AMSTAR I
  • a very experienced staff member identifies an evidence synthesis considered ‘best’ (or among the best) for a given decision (based on the recency of search, quality of review, and availability of an evidence profile), re-words the title to profile the details needed to support a relevance assessment (e.g., participants, exposure / intervention / phenomenon, and outcomes, as well as the certainty of the evidence presented in the evidence synthesis), and proposes any change to the taxonomy needed to accommodate the new evidence synthesis
  • an even more experienced senior advisor edits the re-worded title before it is posted

The current version of the inventory is a prototype. Please send suggestions for how to improve the inventory to covid-end@mcmaster.ca.

COVID-END gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the organizations that are listed in the guide to key COVID-19 evidence sources, particularly the ones from which we drew most heavily when initially developing the inventory:

Cochrane
COVID-NMA
Epistemonikos
PROSPERO
U.S. Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Evidence Synthesis Program
Usher Network for COVID-19 Evidence Reviews (UNCOVER)

COVID-END has offered in return to share, through COVID-END’s ‘improve my RIS file’ service, value-added data it creates so that these data can in turn be used by these organizations in their own workflows.

We also gratefully acknowledge the two organizations that share the information they extract from and the quality ratings they conduct as part of their decision-support activities:

McMaster Health Forum
National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools

Search our guide to key
COVID-19 evidence sources