Introduction: Systematic reviews of qualitative studies (qualitative evidence syntheses) are increasingly used to bring together findings from qualitative studies. A number of these syntheses are now published or underway as Cochrane Reviews or parts of Cochrane Reviews. In order to use the synthesized findings to inform decisions we need methods to assess how much confidence to place in these findings.
Objective: To introduce the latest version of the GRADE Confidence of the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research (CERQual) approach.
- Qualitative evidence synthesis and how findings from these syntheses can be used in decision-making processes.
- The CERQual tool and its four components.
- Making an overall assessment of confidence based on the assessment of each component.
- Presenting review findings and overall CERQual assessments in a 'Summary of qualitative findings' table.
2. Group discussion and practical exercises will focus on each of the CERQual components:
- Component 1: Assessing the methodological limitations of the individual studies contributing to a review finding: group discussion.
- Component 2: Assessing the coherence of each review finding: group discussion.
- Component 3: Assessing the relevance of studies contributing to a review finding: practical exercise.
- Component 4: Assessing the adequacy of data supporting each review finding: practical exercise.