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S14: GRADE Approach for Assessing the Quality of the Evidence in Systematic Reviews in Integrative Medicine

14:45 - 15:45, Orchid CD, Terrace Level

Yuqing Zhang (1)

(1): Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics,  McMaster University, Canada   


Systematic reviews have become the highest level of evidence for making decisions when using an evidence-based clinical practice approach. Even though they provide essential information for making these decisions, many times this information is not enough to draw conclusions regarding the quality of the evidence they provide. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system provides a systematic an explicit approach to assessing the quality of the evidence, facilitating its use in clinical practice. This workshop will have two main components: 1) learning component, and 2) hands-on component. In the learning section we will introduce the participants to the GRADE approach. We will explain the concepts of methodological quality, risk of bias and quality of the evidence. We will describe why it is important to evaluate the quality of the evidence in the context of systematic reviews, the relevance of the GRADE approach to clinicians, researchers and policy makers, GRADE’s objectives, and the domains that are used to assess the quality of the evidence (design limitations, inconsistency, indirectness, imprecision, publication bias, dose-gradient, effect size, and residual bias). In the hands-on component we will provide an example based on a systematic review of a topic of interest in Integrative Medicine. The participants will work in pairs, applying the concepts presented in the learning section to this evidence. Finally, in a plenary session, the assessment of all the participants will be discussed, emphasizing the key concepts.