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Interactive Summary of Findings tables

the way to present and understand results of systematic reviews

Schünemann, Holger J.; Santesso, Nancy; Brozek, Jan L.

JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports: March 2019 - Volume 17 - Issue 3 - p 259–260
doi: 10.11124/JBISRIR-D-19-00059
EDITORIAL
Free
SDC
iSoF

Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact (formerly Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics), McMaster GRADE Centre, Michael G DeGroote Cochrane Canada Centre, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada; Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact (formerly Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics), McMaster GRADE Centre, Michael G DeGroote Cochrane Canada Centre, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact (formerly Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics), McMaster GRADE Centre, Michael G DeGroote Cochrane Canada Centre, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada; Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

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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References

1. Schünemann HJ, Oxman AD, Higgins JPT, Vist GE, Glasziou P, Guyatt GH. Chapter 11: Presenting results and ‘Summary of findings’ tables In: Higgins JPT, Green S, editors. Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions version 5.1.0. The Cochrane Collaboration; Chichester (UK): John Wiley & Sons 2008. Available from: wwwcochrane-handbookorg. [Updated March 2011; cited April 5, 2018].
2. Rosenbaum SE, Glenton C, Oxman AD. Summary-of-findings tables in Cochrane reviews improved understanding and rapid retrieval of key information. J Clin Epidemiol 2010; 63 6:620–626.
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5. Schünemann HJ, Vist GE, Glasziou P, Akl E, Skoetz N, Guyatt GH. Higgins JPT, Thomas J, Chandler J, Cumston M, Li T, Page MJ, et al. Chapter 14: Completing summary of findings tables and grading the certainty of evidence. Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions version 6. The Cochrane Collaboration. Chichester (UK): John Wiley & Sons; 2019; Available from https://training.cochrane.org/handbooks. [Updated January 29, 2019; cited February 5, 2019].
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