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Table 2 Criteria and coding used during Risk of Bias assessment following CASP checklist [27]

From: Enablers and barriers of people with chronic musculoskeletal pain for engaging in telehealth interventions: protocol for a qualitative systematic review and meta-synthesis

 DesignCriteria to assess risk of biasCoding
Section A   
Are the results of the study valid?1. Aims of the researchClarity on every statement of which the research project was based onYes—it is clear what was the aim of the study and relevance
Cannot tell—insufficient data
No—lack of data on the aims of the study, importance and/or relevance on the studied topic
 2. Appropriate methodologyAdopted methodology to Conduct the study was well chosen according to the research questionYes—research seeks to interpret the actions and/or subjective experiences of participants; qualitative Methodology is the central used to address research aims.
Cannot tell—insufficient data
No—inadequate interpretation on the actions and/or subjective experiences of participants; qualitative is not the right methodology to address research goal
Is it worth continuing?3. Appropriate designSelection of proper study designYes—researcher justifies and reveals the reason behind the choice of determined research design
Cannot tell—insufficient data
No—no information upon research design decision-making available
 4. Appropriate recruitment strategyDescription on the selection of patients’ procedure and explanation on eligibility criteriaYes—clear explanation on how patients were selected and why this procedure was the most suitable to provide answers sought by the research; justification in case exclusion criteria
Cannot tell—insufficient data
No—lack of information upon eligibility criteria; unclear information regarding selection procedure
 5. Appropriate data collectionData collection was done adequately to address the research issueYes—clear justification on data collection (e.g., focal group, semi-structured interview); clear explanation on methods used during interviews; documentation in case of changes in methods along the study (if yes: how and why); clear form of data (e.g., tape, video, notes); discussion upon saturation of data
Cannot tell—insufficient data
No—gaps or missing information on regarding setting, script, interview guide, implemented methods, form of data, sample size characteristics
 6. Consideration of relationship between researcher and participantsConsideration on influences faced along the development of the research and its potential consequencesYes—critical examination on potential bias during formulation of research question, data collection, recruitment procedure and setting; clear explanation on how was the response to certain events during the study and implications for research design
Cannot tell—insufficient data
No—lack of discussion upon potential limitations and bias present in the study
Section B   
What are the results?7. Ethical issuesAdherence to ethical standardsYes—research successfully explained details for included patients; data upon informed consent, confidentiality or management of information during and after the study; consultation to ethical committee
Cannot tell—insufficient data
No—lack or poor information regarding actions taken according to ethical standards (informed consent, explanation on research aims to patients)
 8. Rigorous data analysisData analysis reporting is complete and detailedYes—clear in-depth description of analysis process, with explanation on how categories/themes were created from data analysis; sufficient data to support findings; accountability of contradictory data; critical examination on potential bias and influence during analysis and selection of data for presentation
Cannot tell—insufficient data
No—presented data is not supported by relevant information on how it was analyzed; gaps regarding development of themes/subthemes or/and missing explanation on the reason behind selection of certain data and potential bias
 9. Statement of findingsClarity and adequate explanation on the findingsYes—findings of the studies are explicit an there is proper discussion using evidence both for and against studies argument; findings are analyzed and checked regarding credibility; findings suits research main question
Cannot tell—insufficient data
No—findings are poorly explicit and there is a lack of discussion using evidence both agreeing and disagreeing with the findings; no credibility regarding findings was clearly stated; findings do not answer main research question
Section C   
Will the results help locally?10. RelevanceContribution research findings brings to communitiesYes—discussion is made upon impact of research on existing knowledge, policies, practices or relevant literature; study discuss new areas for future research are; researches discuss how the findings could be transferred to different populations or suggest different approaches for similar investigations
Cannot tell—insufficient data
No—no information regarding impact of research on existing literature, policies, and practices; study does not present any suggestion for future research directions; research does not discuss about how to transfer findings to different population