CHRSP Methodology: Rapid Evidence Reports

Rapid Evidence Reports provide support for evidence-based decision making in the Newfoundland and Labrador healthcare system on an expedited basis as compared to the Evidence in Context reports that are also produced by the Contextualized Health Research Synthesis Program. These expedited reports provide a succinct review of recent research evidence on high-priority research topics selected by decision makers in the province.

A Rapid Evidence Report is not a comprehensive synthesis of the literature on the topic; rather, Rapid Evidence Reports provide decision makers with a careful overview of the scope and nature of the scientific literature on the topic in question, an initial assessment of the strengths and gaps in this literature, and a review of the key points of agreement and disagreement among researchers.

Step 1: Identify the Issue:  As part of the CHRSP Topic Identification process, health system partners will identify the issue on which a Rapid Evidence Report is required, the main dimensions to be considered, potentially relevant contextualization issues, possible national experts, and contact persons within their organizations.

Step 2: Review the Literature:  CHRSP conducts a preliminary literature search, confers with stakeholders on results, and refines the research question.

Step 3: Locate an Expert: CHRSP contacts a national subject expert to act as consultant and reviewer of the report, submitting a formal proposal to the national expert and to our stakeholder partners.

Step 4: Confirm/Refine the Research Question: CHRSP confers with both the stakeholder(s) and the national expert to confirm the research question, any important contextualization issues, and a schedule for the national expert. Once this meeting has been concluded, a completed Rapid Evidence Report will be delivered within 30 working days.

Step 5: Locate the Literature: CHRSP locates the pertinent research literature by conducting a thorough search for English- language articles going back five years. CHRSP will not typically conduct an exhaustive search for grey literature, but will include any grey literature that has been brought to our attention by system partners, the national expert, and/or our reading of the peer-reviewed papers located in our electronic searches.

Step 6: Appraise the Literature: CHRSP conducts a critical appraisal to assess the quality of the research evidence.

Step 7: Thematic Analysis:  CHRSP then extracts data from selected articles and conducts a thematic analysis creating a chart with these column headings:

  • Citation
  • Objective/Setting
  • Method
  • Main Findings

Project coordinators can apply flexible formulas and customize the data extraction process as appropriate.

Step 8: Prepare the Report: CHRSP drafts a report, the body of which will be no more than 12 pages in length, with peer-reviewed research discussed separately from grey literature, and a contextualization section that identifies the potentially relevant contextual issues. The national expert reviews this draft report and provides editorial comments.

Step 9: Deliver the Results: CHRSP revises and formats the findings, including the expert's comments, and submits the final Rapid Evidence Report to our health system stakeholder. The stakeholder reviews the report, and can submit questions to our researchers.  CHRSP then hosts a dissemination event and makes any other plans to report findings to organizations and committees with an interest in the topic, as our stakeholders deem appropriate.