Context for the inventory
Our searchable inventory of COVID-19 evidence syntheses (which includes the ‘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. Search the database here and use the ‘best evidence’ filter to find the best available evidence syntheses for any given type of COVID-19 response. These responses are grouped into four main categories:
- 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 COVID-19 responses can be found in a single document.
Here’s how searching 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)
- if you’re pressed for time, you can avoid looking at the many available evidence syntheses included in the database to identify the best one for each decision by using the appropriate advanced search filter (for each of thousands of existing COVID-19 evidence syntheses included in the searchable database, 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 (for each of the ‘best’ evidence syntheses, we’ve already replaced the authors’ document title 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 for a COVID-19 response category in the inventory, you can use the available information provided to describe the evidence synthesis (e.g., you can say ‘through the COVID-END inventory of evidence syntheses, 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 a recent evidence synthesis exists that addresses the COVID-19 response category you’re focused on.
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 were identified throughout the first 18 months of the pandemic, 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.