Assessing the applicability of findings in systematic reviews of complex interventions can enhance the utility of reviews for decision making

Ref ID 391
First Author B. Burford
Year Of Publishing 2013
Keywords External validity
General medical
Problem(s) Ignores setting or context of included studies which limits review applicability
Inflexible methods to complex questions
Number of systematic reviews included 3
Summary of Findings Discusses challenges and opportunities of ensuring applicability of systematic reviews using three published examples of reviews of complex interventions. Recommendations include: Better description of population characteristics in primary studies, interventions, Use of qualitative evidence syntheses and logic models to generate hypotheses regarding the effects of intervention variation; Planned subgroup analyses/meta-regression to explore interactions between intervention variants and effects; Summarize effect sizes across outcome categories using the ‘‘median of medians’’ approach or other approaches that do not require statistical pooling of data
Did the article find that the problem(s) led to qualitative changes in interpretation of the results? Not Applicable
Are the methods of the article described in enough detail to replicate the study? No