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Table 4 Key informant interviews: themes about review products

From: Fit for purpose: perspectives on rapid reviews from end-user interviews

Category (features of the producer, report, or decision) Theme Description
Producer Trust • This was the primary issue that arose in the context of how end-users valued a review, and whether they would rely on a rapid product
• Methodological alterations appear to be secondary to the trust established through consistent products and active end-user engagement
Producer Close working relationship • Maintaining a close working relationship between the end-user and the review producer was considered important to ensure that the key questions reflected the end-user’s needs
Report Relevance of the key questions • Key informants stressed this, noting that if questions did not directly address the specific end-users’ needs, the review was of little or no value, regardless of the methods used
Report Quality/strength of evidence and evidence tables • Several key informants found these elements to be essential and often the most valuable part of the reports
• End-users liked to see outcome data, individual study quality, and overall quality/strength of evidence assessment summarized in a readily accessible form
Report Responsibility of reviewers to highlight methodological considerations/limitations • Reviewers need to help users understand potential ramifications of streamlined methods as end-users may not be aware of standard review steps and accepted methodological approaches
Decision Ability to easily change or reverse a decision • May be one hallmark of when a rapid product is useful
• For example, key informants expressed that a full systematic review is more often necessary for clinical practice guidelines, broad application of the evidence (e.g., “change the direction of the organization on a very important topic”), or macro topics (e.g., population-level implementation)
• Conversely, a rapid product may be sufficient: for decisions being made on a local basis (e.g., point-of-care clinical decisions, nuanced clinical situations, local coverage decisions) where there is not the same level of scrutiny; for “in the moment sort of decisions”; to act as an update for a previous comprehensive guideline or address an issue that comes up secondary or subsequent to a guideline; or to get a general sense of the literature or scale of the issue
Decision There is generally more than the evidence of benefits and harms to consider when making a decision • Rapid products provide one source of information among an array of other considerations for decision-making
• Other factors include context and varied viewpoints, the burden of disease and population affected, and costs.
• Due to these other factors, there may be less perceived risk of using a rapid product