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Table 6 Rapid review strategies. The summary of the rationale and empirical evidence for selecting each of the strategies is available on request

From: Rapid methods including network meta-analysis to produce evidence in clinical decision support: a decision analysis

Rapid review strategies
1. Perform the rapid NMA in a well-established field and for an efficacy or effectiveness question.
2. Use an a priori, non-iterative approach. Define a clear and narrow question using the PICO format. Do not adjust the conceptual framework nor the search terms during the review process.
3. If appropriate, limit the context, for instance to primary healthcare or a specific geographic area.
4. Narrow the search criteria through consultation with experts.
5. Assemble a team with experience in conducting systematic reviews. The team, as a minimum, should consist of a clinician, a methodologist with expertise in systematic reviews, and a librarian. Team members must have enough time allotted when beginning the review process.
6. Search for systematic reviews and overviews of reviews first.
7. Apply date restriction through consultation with experts and use a strict cutoff date for article retrieval. For overviews of reviews, restrict the search period to the last few years.
8. Apply English as a language restriction.
9. As a minimum, search in MEDLINE, Embase, Central and CDSR.
10. Do not search for grey literature.
11. Include only readily accessible published literature. Exclude studies lacking an electronically available abstract or full-text article.
12. Do not search in non-electronic sources.
13. Consult with experts about missed articles.
14. Hand-search reference lists in the included papers.
15. Report all methods used including the search strategy, according to PRISMA.
16. Include two reviewers at all stages, or alternatively use a second screener to check unclear or excluded citations.
17. Report strategies used to deal with discordance between reviewers.
18. For systematic reviews and overviews of reviews, assess the methodological quality of the reviews using AMSTAR to determine whether to include the studies in the review or not.
19. If high-quality systematic reviews exist, then limit the search for primary studies to those published after the most recent systematic review.
20. Only include RCTs that have been appraised in an included systematic review, or that have been quality-assessed in the McMaster Knowledge Refinery or a similar process.
21. Map the studies and interventions. Use a minimum data extraction sheet, extract data from the individual studies, and perform an expedite network meta-analysis.