Rapid Review Guidebook

A Summary of

Dobbins, M. (2017). Rapid review guidebook. Hamilton, ON: National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. Retrieved from http://www.nccmt.ca/resources/rapid-review-guidebook.

Relevance for Public Health

The rapid review guidebook is relevant for all public health topic areas when time is too limited to do a full systematic review and evidence is needed to inform policy and program decision making. Staff, managers and senior leaders can benefit from knowing about the rapid review process and implementing it in their organizations.

Description

This detailed guidebook provides helpful methods and tools for performing a rapid review. The resource describes the necessary steps for conducting a rapid review, from identifying the team and stakeholders to creating a logic model that outlines the structure of the final report. Users often need rapid reviews when using evidence to inform policy and program decisions in an expedited manner. The guidance document provides helpful tips for conducting the reviews and provides tools to help the user complete each step of the process. The comprehensive guidebook aligns with the first five steps in the process of evidence-informed decision making promoted by the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools.

Accessing the Method/Tool


Language(s)

  • English
  • French

Format(s)

On-line Access

Cost

None

Implementing the Method/Tool


Time for Participation/Completion

More than 8 hours

May vary in scope and timeline, from a few days to several weeks or months.

Additional Resources and/or Skills Needed for Implementation

Yes. Users should have a solid understanding and working knowledge of the first five steps of evidence-informed decision making to adequately use the rapid review guidebook and methodology. This includes competence in the five steps of Define, Search, Appraise, Synthesize, and Adapt.

The National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools offers 12 learning modules as self-paced, online, interactive training on the steps of evidence-informed decision making (See website link here: http://www.nccmt.ca/learningcentre/EN/index.php). Online training of the first five steps of Define, Search, Appraise, Synthesize, and Adapt are offered through the following certificate modules listed below. Learners who complete these modules and achieve at least 75% on the final tests earn certificates of competence for each module completed:

  • Module 1: Introduction to Evidence-Informed Decision Making
    • Training on all five steps of Define, Search, Appraise, Synthesize, Adapt
  • Module 2: Quantitative Research Designs 101
    • Training on the steps of Define and Search
  • Module 3: Searching for Research Evidence in Public Health
    • Training on the step of Search
  • Module 4: Critical Appraisal of Guidelines
    • Training on the steps of Appraise and Synthesize
  • Module 5: Critical Appraisal of Systematic Reviews
    • Training on the steps of Appraise and Synthesize
  • Module 6: Critical Appraisal of Qualitative Studies
    • Training on the steps of Appraise and Synthesize
  • Module 7: Critical Appraisal of Intervention Studies
    • Training on the steps of Appraise and Synthesize
  • Module 8: Assessing the Applicability and Transferability of Evidence
    • Training on the step of Adapt

Steps for Using Method/Tool

Evidence-informed decision making involves using the best available evidence from a systematically collected, appraised and analyzed body of knowledge, alongside other forms of knowledge, in policy and program decisions. The rapid review methodology described in this rapid review guidebook aligns with the first five steps in the process of evidence-informed decision making promoted by the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. The steps are listed below, along with a number of helpful methods and tools at each step of the rapid review methodology.

Planning

  1. Prepare an overview of the public health topic
    • Identify your team and stakeholders
    • Define the public health topic
    • Review current knowledge of the public health topic, issue, disease or situation
  2. Initiate the document that will become the final report
    • Create a logic model to outline the overall framework of the review

Step 1: Define a Practice Question

  1. Use the Health Evidence PICO/PECO and PS tool
  2. Use the PROGRESS tool when taking equity factors into account

Step 2: Search for Research Evidence

  1. Use the 6S pyramid to identify relevant sources of public health evidence
  2. Use the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) browser for searching
  3. Consider completing the online learning module on searching for evidence
  4. Use a tool to keep track your searches
  5. Use a tool to keep track of inclusions/exclusions from your search results

Step 3: Critically Appraise the Information Sources

  1. For guidelines, use the AGREE II tool to appraise
  2. For systematic reviews and meta-analyses, use the Health Evidence tool or the AMSTAR tool to appraise
  3. For single studies, use the CASP Collection of Tools to appraise

Step 4: Synthesize the Evidence – “Putting it all Together”

  1. Use a data extraction table (see sample in guidebook)
  2. Use a tool to document how you arrived at your conclusions
  3. Consider the health equity perspective and support the development of policy and program options that take into account their impact on health equity

Step 5: Identify Applicability and Transferability Issues for Further Consideration during the Decision Making Process

  1. Use the A&T Tool to support adapting your work
  2. Use a tool when focusing on health equity issues related to the adapting of evidence

Who is involved

A number of different individuals are involved when conducting a rapid review, including the program/project staff, managers, senior leaders, epidemiologists and librarians, along with other team members and stakeholders.

Conditions for Use

© 2017 National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools

Evaluation and Measurement Characteristics


Evaluation

Information not available

Validity

Not applicable

Reliability

Not applicable

Methodological Rating

Not applicable

Method/Tool Development


Developer(s)

M. Dobbins
National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools
Website: www.nccmt.ca

Method of Development

This rapid review guidebook builds on knowledge of the systematic review process. This guidebook also uses the first five steps of evidence-informed decision making to inform the steps and process of conducting a rapid review.

Release Date

2017

Contact Person/Source

Maureen Dobbins
National Collaborating Centre of methods and Tools
175 Longwood Rd South, Suite 210A
Hamilton, ON L8P 0A1
Phone: (905) 525-9140
Fax: (905) 529-4184
Email: dobbinsm@mcmaster.ca

These summaries are written by the NCCMT to condense and to provide an overview of the resources listed in the Registry of Methods and Tools and to give suggestions for their use in a public health context. For more information on individual methods and tools included in the review, please consult the authors/developers of the original resources.

Resources

Title of Primary Resource Rapid Review Guidebook
File Attachment None
Web-link
Reference

Dobbins, M. (2017). Rapid review guidebook. Hamilton, ON: National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. Retrieved from http://www.nccmt.ca/resources/rapid-review-guidebook.

Type of Material Guidebook
Format On-line Access
Cost to Access None.
Language English, French
Conditions for Use

© 2017 National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools

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