Classifying questions and matching them against forms of evidence: a new tool to better connect evidence demand and supply.
John Lavis, McMaster University and Global Commission on Evidence to Address Societal Challenges
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.