Assessing applicability when comparing medical interventions: AHRQ and the Effective Health Care Program.
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<h4>Objective</h4>To describe a systematic approach for identifying, reporting, and synthesizing information to allow consistent and transparent consideration of the applicability of the evidence in a systematic review according to the Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcome, Setting domains.<h4>Study design and setting</h4>Comparative effectiveness reviews need to consider whether available evidence is applicable to specific clinical or policy questions to be useful to decision makers. Authors reviewed the literature and developed guidance for the Effective Health Care program.<h4>Results</h4>Because applicability depends on the specific questions and needs of the users, it is difficult to devise a valid uniform scale for rating the overall applicability of individual studies or body of evidence. We recommend consulting stakeholders to identify the factors most relevant to applicability for their decisions. Applicability should be considered separately for benefits and harms. Observational studies can help determine whether trial populations and interventions are representative of "real world" practice. Reviewers should describe differences between available evidence and the ideally applicable evidence for the question being asked and offer a qualitative judgment about the importance and potential effect of those differences.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Careful consideration of applicability may improve the usefulness of systematic reviews in informing practice and policy.
United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Review Literature as Topic
Guidelines as Topic
Comparative Effectiveness Research
Outcome Assessment, Health Care
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1016/j.jclinepi.2010.11.021
Publication InfoAtkins, David; Chang, Stephanie M; Gartlehner, Gerald; Buckley, David I; Whitlock, Evelyn P; Berliner, Elise; & Matchar, David (2011). Assessing applicability when comparing medical interventions: AHRQ and the Effective Health Care Program. Journal of clinical epidemiology, 64(11). pp. 1198-1207. 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2010.11.021. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/22904.
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David Bruce Matchar
Professor of Medicine
My research relates to clinical practice improvement - from the development of clinical policies to their implementation in real world clinical settings. Most recently my major content focus has been cerebrovascular disease. Other major clinical areas in which I work include the range of disabling neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, and cancer prevention. Notable features of my work are: (1) reliance on analytic strategies such as meta-analysis, simulation, decision analy
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