• “a description of the main stages in a systematic review of evidence from research and nonresearch sources designed to inform decision making by policy makers and managers;

  • an indication of the range of evidence that could potentially be incorporated into such reviews;

  • pragmatic guidance on the main methodological issues…, given the early stage of development of methods of such reviews, and with a particular focus on the synthesis of qualitative and quantitative evidence;

  • an introduction to some of the approaches available to synthesize these different forms of evidence; and

  • an indication of the types of review questions particular approaches to synthesis are best able to address.”

These alternatives to evidence-based practice of the most literal and rigorous scientific variety suggest some advantages and complementarities of a model of practice-based evidence that produces locally adapted and prospectively tested evidence. Users of this and other guidance for linking research to the decisions they must make in their own settings will need to trade off some degree of rigor for more reality in the setting, conditions of practice, and free-living populations observed.


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