Classifying questions and matching them against forms of evidence: a new tool to better connect evidence demand and supply.

Date & Time
Monday, September 4, 2023, 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Location Name
Session Type
Transformation of Cochrane systems and processes for evidence synthesis
Mansilla C1, Guyatt G2, Sweetmann A2, Lavis J3
1McMaster University, Chile
2McMaster University, Canada
3McMaster Health Forum, Canada

Background: Decision-makers need to address a broad array of questions about several societal challenges. Evidence is an important input that decision-makers can use and often expect to make decisions. However, it is often the case that researchers focus their attention on questions answering what interventions might work to address a problem, often leaving decision makers with several questions unanswered. In the other side, researchers and evidence producers often create different products that are not always answering decision-makers’ needs.
Objectives: This oral presentation aims to present a novel tool to help facilitate the process of identifying a decision-maker’s need and matching it with the right form of evidence that could help provide insights.
Methods: This study had two steps. First, a global cross-sectional survey was conducted to collect all the questions that evidence-support centres around the globe have addressed. With these inputs, a taxonomy of demand-driven type of questions was created. Secondly, a Delphi study with methodological experts was conducted to select the best matches of study design for each type of question that was found in the first stage.
Results: Twenty-nine different centres provided a list of questions that they provided some type of evidence support. More than 200 questions were analyzed and structured to create a taxonomy of 40 different types of questions. The types of questions were structured across the four stages of the decision-making cycle, namely clarifying a problem, finding and selecting options, implementing an option and monitoring implementation, and evaluating impacts. A group of methodological experts were contacted to provide insights on the type of study design that better matches each type of question.
Conclusions: This presentation will show a novel tool that creates a clear connection between decision-making needs to the form of evidence needed to be created. This will help researchers to better coordinate and avoid duplication and decision-makers to understand for what type of questions evidence can provide some type of support. Patient, public, and/or healthcare consumer involvement: Citizens will benefit from a more structured global evidence infrastructure approach.