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Using GRADE to assess the quality of evidence for public health systematic reviews

Topic category Other methods for preparing systematic reviews
Date and Location
Saturday 22 October 2011 - 14:00 - 15:30
Methods Group
Methods Group: 
Applicability and Recommendations Methods Group
Contact person
Contact person: 
Elie Akl (Contact this person)
First nameLast nameAffiliation and Country
First name: 
Last name: 
Affiliation and Country: 
Department of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, University of Munich, Germany
First name: 
Last name: 
Affiliation and Country: 
Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Canada
Other contributors
First nameLast nameAffiliation and Country
First name: 
Last name: 
Affiliation and Country: 
Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services, Oslo, Norway
Target audience
Target audience: 
Authors of systematic reviews of public heatlh topics
Is your workshop restricted to a specific audience or open to all Colloquium participants?: 
Level of knowledge required: 
Type of workshop
Type of workshop: 
Abstract text
To demonstrate the application of the GRADE approach for the assessment of the quality of evidence in systematic reviews of public health topics.
To discuss challenges experienced by authors of public health systematic reviews when applying the GRADE approach.

The Cochrane Collaboration and a growing number of organizations developing public health guidelines have adopted the GRADE approach. The use of GRADE for assessing the quality of evidence in public health systematic reviews raises some specific challenges including: (1) the paucity of trial data; (2) the use of non-trial data; (3) the indirectness of the population and of the setting; (4) the heterogeneity and complexity of interventions; (5) the selection of the outcomes of interest; and (6) grading consistent evidence from low quality studies.
The workshop will include an introductory presentation addressing these issues. The participants will then break out in small groups for hands-on exercises, to be followed by a large group session allowing participants to provide and discuss their own examples of challenges in using GRADE in public health systematic reviews.