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Developing and evaluating communication strategies to support informed decisions and practice based on evidence (DECIDE): protocol and preliminary results

Shaun Treweek1*, Andrew D Oxman2, Philip Alderson3, Patrick M Bossuyt4, Linn Brandt2, Jan Brożek5, Marina Davoli6, Signe Flottorp2, Robin Harbour7, Suzanne Hill8, Alessandro Liberati9, Helena Liira10, Holger J Schünemann115, Sarah Rosenbaum2, Judith Thornton3, Per Olav Vandvik2, Pablo Alonso-Coello12 and DECIDE Consortium

Author Affiliations

1 Population Health Sciences, University of Dundee, Kirsty Semple Way, Dundee, DD2 4BF, UK

2 Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services, Postboks 7004 St Olavs plass, Oslo, 0130, Norway

3 National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, Level 1A, City Tower, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester, M1, 4BT, UK

4 Academic Medical Centre of the University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 91105 AZ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

5 McMaster University Health Sciences Centre, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8S 4K1, Canada

6 Department of Epidemiology, Lazio Regional Health Service, Italian Cochrane Network, Via di Santa Costanza, 53, Rome, 00198, Italy

7 Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network Delta House, 50 West Nile Street, Glasgow, G1 2NP, UK

8 Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

9 The Italian Cochrane Centre, 14/D, Milan, Italy

10 The Finnish Medical Society Duodecim, PO Box 713, Kalevankatu 11 AFIN-00101, Helsinki, Finland

11 University Medical Centre, Hugstetter Strasse 55, Freiburg, 79106, Germany

12 Iberoamerican Cochrane Center, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau (IIB-Sant Pau), Sant Antoni María Claret 171, Barcelona, 08041, Spain

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Implementation Science 2013, 8:6  doi:10.1186/1748-5908-8-6

Published: 9 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Healthcare decision makers face challenges when using guidelines, including understanding the quality of the evidence or the values and preferences upon which recommendations are made, which are often not clear.

Methods

GRADE is a systematic approach towards assessing the quality of evidence and the strength of recommendations in healthcare. GRADE also gives advice on how to go from evidence to decisions. It has been developed to address the weaknesses of other grading systems and is now widely used internationally. The Developing and Evaluating Communication Strategies to Support Informed Decisions and Practice Based on Evidence (DECIDE) consortium (http://www.decide-collaboration.eu/ webcite), which includes members of the GRADE Working Group and other partners, will explore methods to ensure effective communication of evidence-based recommendations targeted at key stakeholders: healthcare professionals, policymakers, and managers, as well as patients and the general public. Surveys and interviews with guideline producers and other stakeholders will explore how presentation of the evidence could be improved to better meet their information needs. We will collect further stakeholder input from advisory groups, via consultations and user testing; this will be done across a wide range of healthcare systems in Europe, North America, and other countries. Targeted communication strategies will be developed, evaluated in randomized trials, refined, and assessed during the development of real guidelines.

Discussion

Results of the DECIDE project will improve the communication of evidence-based healthcare recommendations. Building on the work of the GRADE Working Group, DECIDE will develop and evaluate methods that address communication needs of guideline users. The project will produce strategies for communicating recommendations that have been rigorously evaluated in diverse settings, and it will support the transfer of research into practice in healthcare systems globally.

Keywords:
Guidelines; Recommendations; Communication; Presentation formats