To develop approaches, strategies, and guidance that support the dissemination of Cochrane Reviews and their use by a wide range of audience with specific focus on developers of recommendations (including guidance, guidelines, policies) and on healthcare decision makers (e.g. clinicians, policy makers).
Specifically, the Cochrane GRADEing provides guidance to optimize the usefulness of Cochrane Reviews by articulating reasons for grading the quality of the evidence and factors to consider when moving from evidence to recommendations.
Given Cochrane’s endorsement of GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) and the desirability of uniform approaches to rating confidence in estimates, Cochrane GRADEing facilitates the dissemination and use of GRADE.
The group also provides detailed guidance to authors of Cochrane Reviews on how to apply the factors, and to users of Cochrane Reviews on how to interpret the judgments made by review authors. This includes guidance on providing the systematic review audience with the information necessary to make judgments about applicability and on making direct statements about applicability.
Applicability (also referred to as transferability, generalizability, and external validity) refers to whether or not available research evidence can be directly utilized to answer the health and health care question at hand, ideally supported by a judgment about the degree of confidence for this utilization. This broad definition of applicability is consistent with directness in the GRADE approach.
The Cochrane GRADEing also takes responsibility for training the editorial teams of Cochrane Review Groups and review authors to enable the development of SoF tables. Members of the Cochrane GRADEing conduct research on the applicability and the presentation of evidence. In addition, the group disseminates relevant research conducted by its members and other investigators.
Following an exploratory meeting in 1995 at the Cochrane Colloquium in Oslo, the ARMG (now called Cochrane GRADEing) was established to look at the applicability of review results to different groups of patients and how to best present the results of Cochrane Reviews so that they would be readily understood and widely used. The new group was convened by Paul Glasziou and Gordon Guyatt. In 2004, at the Cochrane Colloquium in Ottawa, Paul Glasziou and Andy Oxman led empirical work at an ARMG workshop exploring contents of a SoF table which would summarize the main beneficial and harmful effects in a tabular format. Holger Schünemann then replaced Paul Glasziou as co-convenor of the ARMG. Membership, scope of work and objectives of the Cochrane GRADEing (former ARMG) overlap with those of the GRADE Working Group. The GRADE Working Group began in the year 2000 as an informal collaboration of people with an interest in addressing the shortcomings of grading systems in health care.
The Cochrane GRADEing does not receive direct funding, but many of our research projects are funded by the Cochrane Methods Innovation Fund competitions.
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