Introducing LATITUDES, a library of assessment tools and instruments used to assess data validity in evidence syntheses
2Kleijnen Systematic Reviews, England
3University of Washington, USA
4University College London, England
Background: Evidence syntheses provide the most reliable form of evidence for decision-makers. A formal assessment of the validity of included studies is an essential component of any systematic review. This requires a formal risk of bias (RoB)/quality assessment tool. Many tools are available, usually designed specifically for different study designs and/or topic areas.
Objectives: To introduce the LATITUDES Network, a library of assessment tools and instruments used to assess data validity in evidence syntheses.
Methods: We are establishing LATITUDES to increase the robustness of evidence syntheses by improving the process of validity (RoB/quality) assessment. Our goals are to increase the use of key tools, help people use tools more effectively, improve incorporation of the validity assessment into the review and disseminate best practice in validity assessment.
Results: LATITUDES (www.latitudes-network.org) aims to improve the overall quality of research syntheses by improving the process of validity assessment. The LATITUDES website will be launched formally at the Colloquium. We will provide a complementary initiative inspired by the EQUATOR Network (www.equator-network.org), an influential international resource to improve the reporting and transparency of health research studies. The LATITUDES network will index validity assessment tools developed for healthcare studies in an online library. Key RoB tools will be highlighted to help reviewers identify the optimum tool for their review. Project outputs and communication will focus around a freely available online platform featuring the library, key tools, toolkits, online training materials and links to courses and events.
Conclusions: LATITUDES aims to be the primary resource networking reviewers to key information when planning and conducting validity assessment for their review.
Patient, public and/or healthcare consumer involvement: