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Assessing Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research – the CERQual tool

In addition to evidence on the effectiveness of a health intervention, decision makers, including guideline panel members, need robust evidence on the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention as well as on other factors that are likely to affect an intervention’s implementation and sustainability.

Qualitative research is especially valuable in exploring questions related to the acceptability and feasibility of an intervention as well as other implementation considerations. Methods for systematically reviewing the results of multiple qualitative primary research studies are an emerging area of research within the health sciences. However, as with evidence of effectiveness, decision makers need tools for assessing how much confidence they can place in findings from systematic reviews of qualitative evidence.

The CERQual (Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research) tool provides a transparent method for assessing the confidence of evidence from reviews of qualitative research, and indicating this confidence to end users, such as guideline panels or decision makers. CERQual uses a similar approach conceptually to other GRADE tools, but is intended for findings from systematic reviews of qualitative evidence.

The development of CERQual is being taken forward through the CERQual subgroup of the GRADE Working Group. This subgroup is coordinated by Claire Glenton (Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services), Simon Lewin (Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services and Medical Research Council of South Africa) and Heather Menzies Munthe-Kaas (Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services).

To learn more about the CERQual tool, or to join the mailing list for the CERQual subgroup of the GRADE Working Group, please email: hmk@nokc.no

Examples of the use of an earlier version of CERQual in qualitative evidence syntheses include Glenton et al. 2013, Colvin et al. 2012 and Bohren et al. 2014.

 

The GRADE working group's grading software GRADEpro is available here:

  1. GRADEpro can be downloaded from the following website at the Cochrane Collaboration: http://www.ims.cochrane.org/revman/gradepro
  2. Your computer needs to have the .NET framework 2.0 or 3.0 or higher installed (newer Windows XP and all Windows Vista PCs will not need to be updated).
  3. For technical or methodological support related to GRADEpro, please contact Jan Brozek or Holger Schünemann

 

Presentation: "The GRADE Approach, an Introductory Workshop on Making Recommendations", part 1 and part 2 by Dr. Schünemann speaking to the CDC's ACIP

Presentation: "The GRADE approach and Summary of Findings Tables - and introduction" and other modules by Dr. Schünemann

Presentation: "The GRADE approach" by Dr. Guyatt, speaking to the American Thoracic Society

 

 

More video parts in this series

 

 

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