Context for the inventory
Our inventory of ‘best evidence syntheses’ for all types of decisions being faced by those who are part of the COVID-19 pandemic response can save you time and help you present the current state of evidence with more confidence. Check out any of the four parts of the COVID-END inventory here:
- evidence about public-health measures (e.g., masks and tests)
- evidence about clinical management of COVID-19 (e.g., prescription drugs) and pandemic-related conditions (e.g., mental health and addictions issues)
- evidence about health-system arrangements (e.g., scaling hospital capacity up or down and virtual-care alternatives to in-person care)
- evidence about economic and social responses (e.g., school and public-transit changes)
The full taxonomy of public-health measures, clinical management of COVID-19, health-system arrangements and economic and social responses can be found in a single document.
Here’s how the inventory can save you time when you’re asked a question by decision-makers:
- you can avoid searching all of the high-yield, high quality sources of evidence syntheses in our guide to COVID-19 evidence sources (we’ve already searched them for you)
- you can avoid looking at the many available evidence syntheses to identify the best one for each decision (for each of thousands of existing COVID-19 evidence syntheses, we’ve already extracted the date of last search for evidence, rated the quality of the synthesis, examined whether the synthesis transparently presents the certainty of the available evidence, and then used these data to identify the ‘best’ evidence synthesis or, if there are several contenders or one contender for two or more facets of the issue, to identify the best two or more evidence syntheses)
- you can avoid clicking on hyperlinks that aren’t relevant to you (we’ve already replaced the authors’ document title for their evidence synthesis with a ‘declarative title’ that provides decision-relevant details like the interventions or exposures examined and the certainty of available evidence)
- you can avoid starting from scratch when the same issue returns to the decision agenda (we identify which evidence syntheses are ‘living’ evidence syntheses that are updated as new studies are published and we update the information about each synthesis each week so you can check back as needed to see whether the evidence has changed).
Here’s how the inventory can help you present the current state of evidence with more confidence:
- if you find an evidence synthesis in a row in the inventory, you can use the available information in the row to describe the evidence synthesis (e.g., you can say ‘through the COVID-END inventory, which includes all available evidence syntheses relevant to COVID-19 decisions, I found a recently updated, high-quality evidence synthesis that presents the certainty of the evidence available to inform this decision’) and its findings (e.g., you can use or elaborate on the ‘declarative title’)
- if you cannot find a relevant evidence synthesis, you can reassure decision-makers that there is little chance that an evidence synthesis exists that meets even minimal quality standards (we only present evidence syntheses that have an AMSTAR score of 4 or higher).
If you’re a researcher rather than someone supporting decision-making, our inventory of ‘best evidence syntheses’ can help to identify a gap that you can fill, ideally with a high-quality, living evidence synthesis on a topic that has been prioritized by COVID-END’s horizon-scanning panel. For a list of prioritized topics that is updated monthly, see our resources for researchers.
Learn more about our approach to developing the inventory of best evidence syntheses.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.