The JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports continues to enhance its systematic reviews by including GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) Summary of Findings (SoF) tables. Summary of Findings tables are concise, tabular summaries of the evidence that address a specific health-related question.1 They include information about the main outcomes, the type and number of studies, the relative and absolute estimates of the effect or association, important comments and a plain language summary to aid interpretation and a rating of the certainty of evidence (also known as quality of the evidence).1
Several randomized trials have shown that well designed SoF tables improve understanding and retrieval of information from a systematic review2-4 and they are a standard feature of Cochrane and are often used in other reviews.5-7 However, in the GRADE Working Group's DECIDE project (www.decide-collaboration.eu)8 and during guideline development work, it became apparent that a “flexible standardization” of presenting information in SoF tables is required to further enhance understanding and uptake of information.
These observations led to the development of electronic interactive versions of SoF tables (iSoFs) that allow presenting the same underlying information in several formats that vary in content and graphical layout. These electronic versions are available on dedicated websites and, from this issue of the journal, are linked directly from the standard SoF and text of a Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) systematic review. An example is available in Vincze et al.9 evaluating the use of nutrition for gestational and postpartum weight management in this issue of the journal. Low certainty evidence from 23 studies in 5230 patients compiled in the review suggests that nutritional interventions may reduce gestational weight gain, a continuous outcome described in this iSoF: https://bit.ly/2Ofg9Av, by 1.25 (95% confidence interval: 0.4 to 2.1) kg compared with other interventions. Authors of JBI systematic reviews will use the GRADE Working Group's official tool, GRADEpro (McMaster University/EvidencePrime, Inc., Hamilton, ON, Canada), to create these iSoF tables. The integrated GRADE Handbook provides guidance for how to create iSoFs, how to embed them in other documents, such as systematic reviews, Health Technology Assessment reports and healthcare guidelines where they can function as decision support tools and aids. Detailed guidance for how to produce SoF tables is also available in GRADE research articles that describe good practices and the process for creating accurate SoF tables for interventions and diagnostic test accuracy reviews.4,10-14 Examples of the use of iSoFs include recent European Commission Breast Cancer guidelines and American Society of Hematology guidelines where recommendations are supported by an iSoF.15-18
We are delighted that the JBI has taken this innovative step to include iSoF tables in their reviews. These steps will make for better evidence integration in decision tools and sharing globally.
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