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2.
J Clin Epidemiol ; 150: 142-153, 2022 Jul 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1936739

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We provide guidance for considering equity in rapid reviews through examples of published COVID-19 rapid reviews. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: This guidance was developed based on a series of methodological meetings, review of internationally renowned guidance such as the Cochrane Handbook and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis for equity-focused systematic reviews (PRISMA-Equity) guideline. We identified Exemplar rapid reviews by searching COVID-19 databases and requesting examples from our team. RESULTS: We proposed the following key steps: 1. involve relevant stakeholders with lived experience in the conduct and design of the review; 2. reflect on equity, inclusion and privilege in team values and composition; 3. develop research question to assess health inequities; 4. conduct searches in relevant disciplinary databases; 5. collect data and critically appraise recruitment, retention and attrition for populations experiencing inequities; 6. analyse evidence on equity; 7. evaluate the applicability of findings to populations experiencing inequities; and 8. adhere to reporting guidelines for communicating review findings. We illustrated these methods through rapid review examples. CONCLUSION: Implementing this guidance could contribute to improving equity considerations in rapid reviews produced in public health emergencies, and help policymakers better understand the distributional impact of diseases on the population.

3.
J Clin Epidemiol ; 147: 83-94, 2022 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1828797

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To describe divergence between actionable statements issued by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) guideline developers cataloged on the "COVID-19 Recommendations and Gateway to Contextualization" platform. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We defined divergence as at least two comparable actionable statements with different explicit judgments of strength, direction, or subgroup consideration of the population or intervention. We applied a content analysis to compare guideline development methods for a sample of diverging statements and to evaluate factors associated with divergence. RESULTS: Of the 138 guidelines evaluated, 85 (62%) contained at least one statement that diverged from another guideline. We identified 223 diverging statements in these 85 guidelines. We grouped statements into 66 clusters. Each cluster addressed the same population, intervention, and comparator group or just similar interventions. Clinical practice statements were more likely to diverge in an explicit judgment of strength or direction compared to public health statements. Statements were more likely to diverge in strength than direction. The date of publication, used evidence, interpretation of evidence, and contextualization considerations were associated with divergence. CONCLUSION: More than half of the assessed guidelines issued at least one diverging statement. This study helps in understanding the types of differences between guidelines issuing comparable statements and factors associated with their divergence.

4.
BMJ Evid Based Med ; 2022 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1794512

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the development and quality of actionable statements that qualify as good practice statements (GPS) reported in COVID-19 guidelines. DESIGN AND SETTING: Systematic review . We searched MEDLINE, MedSci, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), databases of Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) Guidelines, NICE, WHO and Guidelines International Network (GIN) from March 2020 to September 2021. We included original or adapted recommendations addressing any COVID-19 topic. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We used GRADE Working Group criteria for assessing the appropriateness of issuing a GPS: (1) clear and actionable; (2) rationale necessitating the message for healthcare practice; (3) practicality of systematically searching for evidence; (4) likely net positive consequences from implementing the GPS and (5) clear link to the indirect evidence. We assessed guideline quality using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II tool. RESULTS: 253 guidelines from 44 professional societies issued 3726 actionable statements. We classified 2375 (64%) as GPS; of which 27 (1%) were labelled as GPS by guideline developers. 5 (19%) were labelled as GPS by their authors but did not meet GPS criteria. Of the 2375 GPS, 85% were clear and actionable; 59% provided a rationale necessitating the message for healthcare practice, 24% reported the net positive consequences from implementing the GPS. Systematic collection of evidence was deemed impractical for 13% of the GPS, and 39% explained the chain of indirect evidence supporting GPS development. 173/2375 (7.3%) statements explicitly satisfied all five criteria. The guidelines' overall quality was poor regardless of the appropriateness of GPS development and labelling. CONCLUSIONS: Statements that qualify as GPS are common in COVID-19 guidelines but are characterised by unclear designation and development processes, and methodological weaknesses.

5.
BMJ Evid Based Med ; 2022 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1794511

ABSTRACT

An evidence-based approach is considered the gold standard for health decision-making. Sometimes, a guideline panel might judge the certainty that the desirable effects of an intervention clearly outweigh its undesirable effects as high, but the body of supportive evidence is indirect. In such cases, the application of the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) approach for grading the strength of recommendations is inappropriate. Instead, the GRADE Working Group has recommended developing ungraded best or good practice statement (GPS) and developed guidance under which circumsances they would be appropriate.Through an evaluation of COVID-1- related recommendations on the eCOVID Recommendation Map (COVID-19.recmap.org), we found that recommendations qualifying a GPS were widespread. However, guideline developers failed to label them as GPS or transparently report justifications for their development. We identified ways to improve and facilitate the operationalisation and implementation of the GRADE guidance for GPS.Herein, we propose a structured process for the development of GPSs that includes applying a sequential order for the GRADE guidance for developing GPS. This operationalisation considers relevant evidence-to-decision criteria when assessing the net consequences of implementing the statement, and reporting information supporting judgments for each criterion. We also propose a standardised table to facilitate the identification of GPS and reporting of their development. This operationalised guidance, if endorsed by guideline developers, may palliate some of the shortcomings identified. Our proposal may also inform future updates of the GRADE guidance for GPS.

6.
J Clin Epidemiol ; 141: 161-171, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433469

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To propose a taxonomy and framework that identifies and presents actionable statements in guidelines. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We took an iterative approach reviewing case studies of guidelines produced by the World Health Organization and the American Society of Hematology to develop an initial conceptual framework. We then tested it using randomly selected recommendations from published guidelines addressing COVID-19 from different organizations, evaluated its results, and refined it before retesting. The urgency and availability of evidence for development of these recommendations varied. We consulted with experts in research methodology and guideline developers to improve the final framework. RESULTS: The resulting taxonomy and framework distinguishes five types of actional statements: formal recommendations; research recommendations; good practice statements; implementation considerations, tools and tips; and informal recommendations. These statements should respond to a priori established criteria and require a clear structure and recognizable presentation in a guideline. Most importantly, this framework identifies informal recommendations that differ from formal recommendations by how they consider evidence and in their development process. CONCLUSION: The identification, standardization and explicit labelling of actionable statements according to the framework may support guideline developers to create actionable statements with clear intent, avoid informal recommendations and improve their understanding and implementation by users.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Publications , Research Design , World Health Organization
7.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1634, 2021 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398853

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Physical distancing (PD) is an important public health strategy to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and has been promoted by public health authorities through social media. Although youth have a tendency to engage in high-risk behaviors that could facilitate COVID-19 transmission, there is limited research on the characteristics of PD messaging targeting this population on social media platforms with which youth frequently engage. This study examined social media posts created by Canadian public health entities (PHEs) with PD messaging aimed at youth and young adults aged 16-29 years and reported behavioral change techniques (BCTs) used in these posts. METHODS: A content analysis of all social media posts of Canadian PHEs from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube were conducted from April 1st to May 31st, 2020. Posts were classified as either implicitly or explicitly targeting youth and young adults. BCTs in social media posts were identified and classified based on Behavior Change Technique Taxonomy version 1 (BCTTv1). Frequency counts and proportions were used to describe the data. RESULTS: In total, 319 youth-targeted PD posts were identified. Over 43% of the posts originated from Ontario Regional public health units, and 36.4 and 32.6% of them were extracted from Twitter and Facebook, respectively. Only 5.3% of the total posts explicitly targeted youth. Explicit posts were most frequent from federal PHEs and posted on YouTube. Implicit posts elicited more interactions than explicit posts regardless of jurisdiction level or social media format. Three-quarters of the posts contained at least one BCT, with a greater portion of BCTs found within implicit posts (75%) than explicit posts (52.9%). The most common BCTs from explicit posts were instructions on how to perform a behavior (25.0%) and restructuring the social environment (18.8%). CONCLUSIONS: There is a need for more PD messaging that explicitly targets youth. BCTs should be used when designing posts to deliver public health messages and social media platforms should be selected depending on the target population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Adolescent , Adult , Humans , Ontario , Physical Distancing , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(17)2021 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390645

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the global imperative to address health inequities. Observational studies are a valuable source of evidence for real-world effects and impacts of implementing COVID-19 policies on the redistribution of inequities. We assembled a diverse global multi-disciplinary team to develop interim guidance for improving transparency in reporting health equity in COVID-19 observational studies. We identified 14 areas in the STROBE (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology) checklist that need additional detail to encourage transparent reporting of health equity. We searched for examples of COVID-19 observational studies that analysed and reported health equity analysis across one or more social determinants of health. We engaged with Indigenous stakeholders and others groups experiencing health inequities to co-produce this guidance and to bring an intersectional lens. Taking health equity and social determinants of health into account contributes to the clinical and epidemiological understanding of the disease, identifying specific needs and supporting decision-making processes. Stakeholders are encouraged to consider using this guidance on observational research to help provide evidence to close the inequitable gaps in health outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Equity , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Justice
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