Evidence synthesis and translation of findings for national clinical guideline development: addressing the needs and preferences of guideline development groups

National clinical guidelines aim to help healthcare providers and patients' make decisions about appropriate healthcare. These guidelines use the best available evidence, gathered from national and international research, to develop recommendations on a wide range of topics. These include preventing and managing specific conditions to planning broader services and interventions to improve the health of communities. Using clinical guidelines can improve health outcomes for patients, reduce differences in practice and improve the quality of decisions that patients and healthcare staff have to make. There are many approaches to how we find, bring together (synthesise) and present national and international research (evidence) on a specific topic. These approaches are known as evidence synthesis methods. Examples include systematic reviews and rapid reviews of research. Groups of healthcare providers and patients (known as guideline development groups) turn this evidence into recommendations and again, there are many approaches to how this may be done. This project aims to develop a toolkit to provide guidance on selecting approaches to evidence synthesis in the development of Irish national clinical guidelines. We will also explore how the results of evidence synthesis methods are presented and how guideline development groups use this evidence to develop recommendations. Overall, we aim to ensure the quality of Irish national clinical guidelines. To do this we will first look at the acceptability of different evidence synthesis methods with the people involved in developing guidelines. This will help to establish guidance on which methods should or should not be used. We will develop and test different ways of presenting the findings of evidence synthesis methods that are acceptable to all users, healthcare providers and patients. Lastly we will explore the ways guideline development groups use evidence when they are coming up with recommendations.

Award Date
15 May 2019
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Barbara Clyne
Host Institution
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Emerging Investigator Awards