TABLE 5-2 Topics to Include in the Results Section (repeat for each key question)

Results Topic


Study selection

  • Numbers of studies that were screened, assessed for eligibility, and included in the review

  • A flow chart that shows the number of studies that remain after each stage of the selection process

  • Provide a citation for each included study

Excluded studies

  • Excluded studies that experts might expect to see included and reason for their exclusion

Appraisal of individual studies

  • Summarize the threats to validity in each study and, if available, any outcome-level assessment of the effects of bias

  • Summarize the relevance of the studies to the populations, interventions, and outcome measures

  • Summarize the fidelity of the implementation of interventions

Qualitative synthesis

  • Summarize clinical and methodological characteristics of the included studies, such as:

    • Number and characteristics of study participants, including factors that may impact generalizability of results to real-world settings (e.g., comorbidities in studies of older patients or race/ethnicity in conditions where disparities exist)

    • Clinical settings

    • Interventions

    • Primary and secondary outcome measures

    • Follow-up period

  • Observed patterns of threats to validity across studies, strengths, and weaknesses of the evidence, and confidence in the results

  • Description of the overall body of evidence across the following domains:

    • Risk of bias

    • Consistency

    • Precision

    • Directness

    • Reporting bias

    • Dose-response association

    • Plausible confounding that would change the observed effect

    • Strength of association

  • Findings of differences in responses to the intervention for key subgroups (e.g., by age, race, gender, socioeconomic status, and/or clinical findings)

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