2017 GRADE & GRADE CERQual Methods Training

Cochrane GRADE workshop with two streams: Assessing confidence in evidence of effectiveness (GRADE) and in evidence from reviews of qualitative research (GRADE-CERQual)

Trainers: Holger Schünemann, Elena Parmelli, Sara Balduzzi, Claire Glenton, Jane Noyes and Heather Munthe-Kaas

Assessing the quality of the body of evidence using a tool such as the GRADE approach, and justifying these assessments, is mandatory within the Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR) standards.  This workshop for editors and staff of Cochrane Review Groups aimed to deepen participants’ understanding of the GRADE approach and to provide practical experience of applying the approach to two different streams of evidence. 
Participants chose between one of two parallel streams:
(1) evidence from systematic reviews of the effectiveness of interventions or
(2) evidence from systematic reviews of qualitative evidence (also called qualitative evidence syntheses).

Day 1

Days 2 & 3

Qualitative stream 

Effectiveness evidence stream 

(Conflict of interest statement)

Course Preparation

For participants who are new to the field of qualitative evidence synthesis, please view the following youtube presentations.

Ruth Garside: Methods for synthesizing qualitative evidence:

Emma France: Qualitative evidence synthesis amd meta-ethnography:


For an overview of the GRADE-CERQual approach:-

Lewin S, Glenton C, Munthe-Kaas H, Carlsen B, Colvin CJ, Gülmezoglu M, Noyes J, Booth A, Garside R, Rashidian A. Using qualitative evidence in decision making for health and social interventions: An approach to assess confidence in findings from qualitative evidence syntheses (GRADE-CERQual). PLOS Medicine. 2015; 12(10):e1001895.

How qualitative evidence can be used in guideline processes:-

Glenton C, Lewin S, Norris SL. Using evidence from qualitative research to develop WHO guidelines (Chapter 15). In: World Health Organization. Handbook for Guideline Development (2nd edition). Geneva: WHO. 2016. 

Current use was established and Cochrane guidance on selection of social theories for systematic reviews of complex interventions was developed. Noyes J, Hendry M, Booth A, Chandler J, Lewin S, Glenton C, Garside R.  J Clin Epidemiol. 2016 Jul;75:78-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2015.12.009. Epub 2016 Jan 6.

Guidance on choosing qualitative evidence synthesis methods for use in health technology assessments of complex interventions – free to download

Using evidence from qualitative research to develop WHO guidelines. WHO handbook for guideline development – 2nd ed. (ISBN 978 92 4 154896 0) © World Health Organization 2014.

Course Programme