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2015 HSR&D/QUERI National Conference Abstract

2011 — An Innovative Approach to Systematic Reviews on Veteran Health Topics Using Informatics and Web-Based Methods

Hoffberg AS, Rocky Mountain MIRECC; Stearns-Yoder KA, Rocky Mountain MIRECC; Huggins JA, Rocky Mountain MIRECC, University of Colorado; Brenner LA, Rocky Mountain MIRECC, University of Colorado; Bahraini N, Rocky Mountain MIRECC, University of Colorado;

Workshop Objectives:
Describe critical steps and components of the systematic review process, and highlight common barriers and challenges to conducting quality reviews. Describe the role of technology and other innovative strategies for reducing barriers and modernizing the systematic review process. Demonstrate how informatics and web-based tools can be used to optimize search strategy, standardize processes that are prone to unwarranted variability, facilitate consensus-driven review process, build capacity for appraising risk of bias, and improve the delivery and impact of findings to end-users.

Due to the ever-growing body of information being produced on Veteran health topics, systematic reviews play a vital role in providing reliable syntheses of research for evidence-based decision making. However, conducting a quality review is a slow and resource-intensive process. Informatics and web-based applications can help reduce barriers by streamlining and automating much of the systematic review process, thereby improving work flow, and reducing researcher burden and error. We will discuss how innovations can be applied to different tasks within PRISMA, including locating eligible studies, managing results, and evaluating findings. We will model their use in practice by guiding participants through examples of Veteran health topics including suicide prevention. Specifically, we will demonstrate a sensitive OVID Medline search strategy used to find literature on self-directed violence among Veteran/military populations, and we will present a web-based application for consensus-driven review process. We will focus on systematic reviews of observational studies (cohort, cross-sectional, case-control designs), but most of the strategies will apply to reviews of RCTs as well. Together, these techniques will provide valuable and practical information to help researchers standardize and streamline review methods, reduce burden and error, mitigate bias in evaluating and reporting findings, and disseminate findings in a way that maximizes their use by different end-users (e.g., patients, providers and policy decision makers).

Target Audience:
This workshop is intended for health science professionals and researchers with interest in evidence-based health care and who wish to acquire core knowledge needed to conduct systematic reviews and other scholarly activities related to synthesizing evidence on Veteran health topics.

Assumed Audience Familiarity with Topic:
We assume that participants will have some prior experience conducting systematic reviews.