Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Evidence-based Practice Center methods provide guidance on prioritization and selection of harms in systematic reviews.
OBJECTIVES: Systematic reviews should provide balanced assessments of benefits and harms, while focusing on the most important outcomes. Selection of harms to be reviewed can be a challenge due to the potential for large numbers of diverse harms. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: A workgroup of methodologists from Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs) developed consensus-based guidance on selection and prioritization of harms in systematic reviews. Recommendations were informed by a literature scan, review of Evidence-based Practice Center reports, and interviews with experts in conducting reviews or assessing harms and persons representing organizations that commission or use systematic reviews. RESULTS: Ten recommendations were developed on selection and prioritization of harms, including routinely focusing on serious as well as less serious but frequent or bothersome harms; routinely engaging stakeholders and using literature searches and other data sources to identify important harms; using a prioritization process (formal or less formal) to inform selection decisions; and describing the methods used to select and prioritize harms. CONCLUSION: We provide preliminary guidance for a more structured approach to selection and prioritization of harms in systematic reviews.
Chou, R; Baker, WL; Bañez, LL; Iyer, S; Myers, ER; Newberry, S; Pincock, L; Robinson, KA; Sardenga, L; Sathe, N; Springs, S; Wilt, TJ
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