PRISMA for Abstracts
Abstracts of systematic reviews are very important, as some readers cannot access the full paper, such that abstracts may be the only option for gleaning research results. This can be because of a pay wall, low Internet download capacity, or if the full article is only available in a language not understood by the reader. Readers in countries where English is not the primary language may have access to an abstract translated to their own language, but not to a translated full text.
The PRISMA Statement gives some guidance for abstracts, closely linked to commonly used headings in structured abstracts. After observing that the quality of abstracts of systematic reviews is still poor, we decided to develop an extension to the PRISMA Statement to provide additional guidance on writing abstracts for systematic reviews. We also wanted to provide a checklist enabling the items suggested to fit into any set of headings mandated by a journal or conference submission.
TIDieR (Template for Intervention Description and Replication)
The quality of description of interventions in publications is poor. However without details of the intervention, clinicians cannot use effective interventions in practice and other researchers cannot replicate, build upon or reliably synthesis findings.
With the objective of improving the completeness of reporting, and ultimately the replicability, of interventions, a reporting guideline was developed. The reporting checklist is entitled TIDieR (Template for Intervention Description and Replication). It is an extension of item 5 of the CONSORT 2010 statement and item 11 of the SPIRIT 2013 statement
A tool to guide you through completing each of the TIDieR Checklist items and produce a document which summarises your intervention is now available.
EBM Teaching Resources
This is a database of learning resources for teaching EBHC (Evidence-Based Health Care). There are resources for the public, students and professionals.
The CriSTAL tool (Criteria for Screening and Triaging to Appropriate aLternative care) has been developed and validated for older people aged 65+ years either in residential aged care facilities or hospitals. Some of its components have been used for older patients living in the community and visiting their primary care practitioner. Only one study in the USA has applied it to people aged 55+ years. For a list of free resources for researchers and clinicians interested in reducing prognostic uncertainty for their older patients, please visit the CriSTAL website.
Aimed at both patients and professionals, the book Testing Treatments builds a lively and thought provoking argument for better, more reliable, more relevant research, with unbiased or ‘fair’ trials, and explains how patients can work with doctors to achieve this vital goal.
Many treatment claims are untrustworthy, however. Unwarranted faith in untrustworthy claims causes people to suffer by using ineffective or harmful treatments, or failing to use effective ones.
Unfortunately, it is often hard to tell whether a treatment claim is untrustworthy. Skills are needed to spot claims that are unreliable. Testing Treatments international (TTi) provides open access to learning resources for people who want to (or help others to) acquire those skills.
Please note that TTi is NOT for specific advice on particular treatments. However, TTi SHOULD help to promote critical thinking about the treatment claims that people encounter. TTi builds on Testing Treatments, a successful book written for the public, which is available to download for free in more than a dozen languages.
Testing Treatments is for anyone who wishes to learn how to assess the trustworthiness of treatment claims.
For more information, visit the website: https://en.testingtreatments.org/
Health H.A.C.C. – How to Assess Claims Critically
These resources were developed to improve high school students’ critical thinking skills, particularly their ability to critically assess health claims and detect false claims. It covers fundamental information about research methods and processes for testing health interventions and explains the key concepts needed for appraising claims about health interventions.
Health H.A.C.C. aims to support teachers in educating students about these key concepts. The content is aimed at students in Years 7-9. However, it is also relevant for students in nearby year levels on either side of this target range. Having these skills will help young people be able to make informed health decisions based on reliable information, both now and throughout their life.