Browsing by Author "Kredo, Tamara"
Now showing 1 - 20 of 24
Results Per Page
- ItemAssessing the completeness and comparability of outcomes in systematic reviews addressing food security : protocol for a methodological study(BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2020-01-09) Durao, Solange; Visser, Marianne; Kredo, Tamara; Saldanha, Ian J.Background: Systematic reviews should specify all outcomes at the protocol stage. Pre-specification helps prevent outcome choice from being influenced by knowledge of included study results. Completely specified outcomes comprise five elements: (1) domain (title), (2) specific measurement (technique/instrument), (3) specific metric (data format for analysis), (4) method of aggregation (how group data are summarised), and (5) time points. This study aims to assess the completeness of outcome pre-specification in systematic reviews of interventions to improve food security, specifically food availability, in low- and middle-income countries, as well as to assess the comparability of outcome elements across reviews reporting the same outcome domains. Methods: We will examine systematic reviews from an ongoing overview of systematic reviews, which assessed the effects of interventions addressing food insecurity through improving food production, access, or utilisation compared with no intervention or a different intervention, on nutrition outcomes. We will examine the original protocols; if unavailable, we will examine the “Methods” section of the systematic reviews’ most recent version. One investigator will identify and group all outcome domains that the authors of the included protocols intended to measure in the systematic review and a second investigator will verify the domains. For outcome domains reported in at least 25% of protocols, one author will extract data using a pre-specified form and a second author will verify the data. We will use descriptive statistics to report the number, types, and degree of specification of outcomes in included protocols. We will assess the extent of completeness of outcome pre-specification based on the number of outcome elements (out of five). We will assess comparability of outcome domains through examining how individual elements are described across SRs reporting the same outcome domains. Discussion: Our findings will contribute to understanding about the best approach to pre-specify outcomes for systematic reviews and primary research in the field of food security.
- Item‘Building on shaky ground’—challenges to and solutions for primary care guideline implementation in four provinces in South Africa : a qualitative study(BMJ Publishing, 2020-05) Kredo, Tamara; Cooper, Sara; Abrams, Amber Louise; Muller, Jocelyn; Schmidt, Bey-Marrié; Volmink, Jimmy; Atkins, SallaObjectives Clinical guidelines support evidence-informed quality patient care. Our study explored perspectives of South African subnational health managers regarding barriers to and enablers for implementation for all available primary care guidelines. Design: We used qualitative research methods, including semistructured, individual interviews and an interpretative perspective. Thematic content analysis was used to develop data categories and themes. Setting: We conducted research in four of nine South African provinces with diverse geographic, economic and health system arrangements (Eastern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo). South Africa is a middle-income country with high levels of inequality. The settings represented public sector rural and peri-urban health facilities. Participants: Twenty-two participants with provincial and district health management roles, that comprised implementation and/or training on primary care guidelines, were included. Results: Participants recommended urgent consideration of health system challenges, particularly financial constraints, impacting on access to the guidelines themselves and to medical equipment and supplies necessary to adhere to guidelines. They suggested that overcoming service delivery gaps requires strengthening of leadership, clarification of roles and enhanced accountability. Participants suggested that inadequate numbers of skilled clinical staff hampered guideline use and, ultimately, patient care. Quality assurance of training programmes for clinicians—particularly nurses—interdisciplinary training, and strengthening post-training mentorship were recommended. Furthermore, fit-for-purpose guideline implementation necessitates considering the unique settings of facilities, including local culture and geography. This requires guideline development to include guideline end users. Conclusions: Guidelines are one of the policy tools to achieve evidence-informed, cost-effective and universal healthcare. But, if not effectively implemented, they have no impact. Subnational health managers in poorly resourced settings suggested that shortcomings in the health system, along with poor consultation with end users, affect implementation. Short-term improvements are possible through increasing access to and training on guidelines. However, health system strengthening and recognition of socio-cultural–geographic diversity are prerequisites for context-appropriate evidence-informed practice.
- ItemClinical practice guideline adaptation methods in resource-constrained settings : four case studies from South Africa(BMJ Publishing, 2020-12) McCaul, Michael; Ernstzen, Dawn; Temmingh, Henk; Draper, Beverly; Galloway, Michelle; Kredo, TamaraDeveloping a clinical practice guideline (CPG) is expensive and time-consuming and therefore often unrealistic in settings with limited funding or resources. Although CPGs form the cornerstone of providing synthesised, systematic, evidence-based guidance to patients, healthcare practitioners and managers, there is no added benefit in developing new CPGs when there are accessible, good-quality, up-to-date CPGs available that can be adapted to fit local needs. Different approaches to CPG development have been proposed, including adopting, adapting or contextualising existing high-quality CPGs to make recommendations relevant to local contexts. These approaches are attractive where technical and financial resources are limited and high-quality guidance already exists. However, few examples exist to showcase such alternative approaches to CPG development. The South African Guidelines Excellence project held a workshop in 2017 to provide an opportunity for dialogue regarding different approaches to guideline development with key examples and case studies from the South African setting. Four CPGs represented the topics: mental health, health promotion, chronic musculoskeletal pain and prehospital emergency care. Each CPG used a different approach, however, using transparent, reportable methods. They included advisory groups with representation from content experts, CPG users and methodologists. They assessed CPGs and systematic reviews for adopting or adapting. Each team considered local context issues through qualitative research or stakeholder engagement. Lessons learnt include that South Africa needs fit-for-purpose guidelines and that existing appropriate, high-quality guidelines must be taken into account. Approaches for adapting guidelines are not clear globally and there are lessons to be learnt from existing descriptions of approaches from South Africa.
- ItemThe Cochrane Corner in the SAMJ : summaries of Cochrane systematic reviews for evidence-informed practice(Health and Medical Publishing Group, 2015) Kredo, Tamara; Young, Taryn; Wiysonge, Charles S.; McCaul, Michael; Volmink, JamesThis editorial introduces a regular contribution from Cochrane South Africa (http://www.mrc.ac.za/cochrane/cochrane.htm) to the South African Medical Journal, which will be called the ‘Cochrane Corner’. Our contribution takes the form of technical summaries of Cochrane systematic reviews handpicked for their relevance to South Africa and the African region. Our goal is to help ensure that the high-quality evidence in Cochrane reviews reaches a wider audience.
- ItemThe effects of shifting tasks from pharmacy to non-pharmacy personnel for providing antiretroviral therapy to people living with HIV : a systematic review protocol(BMJ Publishing Group, 2016) Mbeye, Nyanyiwe M.; Kredo, Tamara; Wiysonge, Charles S.ENGLISH SUMMARY : Introduction: Shifting selected antiretroviral therapy (ART) tasks from specialised healthcare workers to those with shorter or less formal training has been implemented in resource-limited settings to alleviate critical shortages of human resources for health. However, the specifics of shifting ART dispensing from pharmacy to non-pharmacy personnel have not been addressed in a systematic review, although this can potentially increase access to ART. We will assess the effects of shifting dispensing and distribution of ART and adherence assessment from pharmacy to non- pharmacy personnel in low and middle-income countries. Methods and analysis: We will search PubMed, CENTRAL, EMBASE, WHO Global Health Library and relevant grey literature for eligible controlled trials. Two authors will screen the search output, select eligible studies, assess risk of bias and extract data from included studies, resolving discrepancies by discussion and consensus. We will perform meta-analysis using both fixed and random effects models, investigate clinical and statistical heterogeneity, and assess our confidence in the overall evidence using standard Cochrane methods, including GRADE.
- ItemEvidence synthesis workshops : moving from face-to-face to online learning(BMJ Publishing, 2021-10) McCaul, Michael; Durao, Solange; Kredo, Tamara; Garner, Paul; Young, Taryn; Rohwer, AnkePostgraduate training is moving from face-to-face workshops or courses to online learning to help increase access to knowledge, expertise and skills, and save the cost of face-to-face training. However, moving from face-to-face to online learning for many of us academics is intimidating, and appears even more difficult without the help of a team of technologists. In this paper, we describe our approach, our experiences and the lessons we learnt from converting a Primer in Systematic Reviews face-to-face workshop to a 6-week online course designed for healthcare professionals in Africa. We learnt that the team needs a balance of skills and experience, including technical know-how and content knowledge; that the learning strategies needed to achieve the learning objectives must match the content delivery. The online approach should result in both building knowledge and developing skills, and include interactive and participatory approaches. Finally, the design and delivery needs to keep in mind the limited and expensive internet access in some resource-poor settings in Africa.
- ItemHow good are our guidelines? Four years of experience with the SAMJ’s AGREE II review of submitted clinical practice guideline(Health & Medical Publishing Group, 2018) Kredo, Tamara; Wiseman, Roger; Gray, Andy; Parrish, Andy; Miot, Jacqui; Cohen, Karen; Jamaloodien, Khadija; Blockman, MarcThe South African Medical Journal (SAMJ) is an established source of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) serving the local healthcare community. CPGs link professional societies and clinicians by guiding best practice through the collation and interpretation of the best available evidence. Not only are CPGs important in standardising the quality of patient care, but they also assist with medicine selection and resource allocation decisions, adjudicating medicolegal claims, and promoting equity by influencing medicine access and health system organisation.
- ItemInterleukin-2 as an adjunct to antiretroviral therapy for HIV-positive adults(John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. on behalf of The Cochrane Collaboration, 2017) Onwumeh, Jennifer; Okwundu, Charles I.; Kredo, TamaraBackground: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continues to be a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly in sub‐Saharan Africa. Although antiretroviral drugs have helped to improve the quality of life and life expectancy of HIV‐positive individuals, there is still a need to explore other interventions that will help to further reduce the disease burden. One potential strategy is the use of interleukin‐2 (IL‐2) in combination with antiretroviral therapy (ART). IL‐2 is a cytokine that regulates the proliferation and differentiation of lymphocytes and may help to boost the immune system. Objectives: To assess the effects of interleukin‐2 (IL‐2) as an adjunct to antiretroviral therapy for HIV‐positive adults. Search methods: We searched the following sources up to 26 May 2016: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), published in the Cochrane Library; MEDLINE; Embase; the Web of Science; LILACS; the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trial Registry Platform (ICTRP); and ClinicalTrials.gov. We also checked conference abstracts, contacted experts and relevant organizations in the field, and checked the reference list of all studies identified by the above methods for any other potentially eligible studies. Selection criteria: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated the effects of IL‐2 as an adjunct to ART in reducing the morbidity and mortality in HIV‐positive adults. Data collection and analysis:Two review authors independently screened records and selected trials that met the inclusion criteria, extracted data, and assessed the risk of bias in the included trials. Where possible, we compared the effects of interventions using risk ratios (RR), and presented them with 95% confidence intervals (CI). We assessed the overall certainty of the evidence using the GRADE approach. Main results: Following a comprehensive literature search up to 26 May 2016, we identified 25 eligible trials. The interventions involved the use of IL‐2 in combination with ART compared with ART alone. There was no difference in mortality apparent between the IL‐2 group and the ART alone group (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.80 to 1.17; 6 trials, 6565 participants, high certainty evidence). Seventeen of 21 trials reported an increase in the CD4 cell count with the use of IL‐2 compared to control using different measures (21 trials, 7600 participants). Overall, there was little or no difference in the proportion of participants with a viral load of less than 50 cells/mL or less than 500 cells/mL by the end of the trials (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.81 to 1.15; 5 trials, 805 participants, high certainty evidence) and (RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.12; 4 trials, 5929 participants, high certainty evidence) respectively. Overall there may be little or no difference in the occurrence of opportunistic infections (RR 0.79, 95% CI 0.55 to 1.13; 7 trials, 6141 participants, low certainty evidence). There was probably an increase in grade 3 or 4 adverse events (RR 1.47, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.96; 6 trials, 6291 participants, moderate certainty evidence). None of the included trials reported adherence. Authors' conclusions: There is high certainty evidence that IL‐2 in combination with ART increases the CD4 cell count in HIV‐positive adults. However, IL‐2 does not confer any significant benefit in mortality, there is probably no difference in the incidence of opportunistic infections, and there is probably an increase in grade 3 or 4 adverse effects. Our findings do not support the use of IL‐2 as an adjunct to ART in HIV‐positive adults. Based on our findings, further trials are not justified.
- ItemMixed method evaluation of the CEBHA+ integrated knowledge translation approach : a protocol(BioMed Central, 2021-01-18) Pfadenhauer, Lisa M.; Grath, Tanja; Delobelle, Peter; Jessani, Nasreen; Meerpohl, Joerg J.; Rohwer, Anke; Schmidt, Bey-Marrie; Toews, Ingrid; Akiteng, Ann R.; Chapotera, Gertrude; Kredo, Tamara; Levitt, Naomi; Ntawuyirushintege, Seleman; Sell, Kerstin; Rehfuess, Eva A.Background: The Collaboration for Evidence-based Healthcare and Public Health in Africa (CEBHA+) is a research consortium concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of non-communicable diseases. CEBHA+ seeks to engage policymakers and practitioners throughout the research process in order to build lasting relationships, enhance evidence uptake, and create long-term capacity among partner institutions in Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda in collaboration with two German universities. This integrated knowledge translation (IKT) approach includes the formal development, implementation and evaluation of country specific IKT strategies. Methods: We have conceptualised the CEBHA+ IKT approach as a complex intervention in a complex system. We will employ a comparative case study (CCS) design and mixed methods to facilitate an in-depth evaluation. We will use quantitative surveys, qualitative interviews, quarterly updates, and a policy document analysis to capture the process and outcomes of IKT across the African CEBHA+ partner sites. We will conduct an early stage (early 2020) and a late-stage evaluation (early 2022), triangulate the data collected with various methods at each site and subsequently compare our findings across the five sites. Discussion: Evaluating a complex intervention such as the CEBHA+ IKT approach is complicated, even more so when undertaken across five diverse countries. Despite conceptual, methodological and practical challenges, our comparative case study addresses important evidence gaps: While involving decision-makers in the research process is gaining traction worldwide, we still know very little regarding (i) whether this approach really makes a difference to evidence uptake, (ii) the mechanisms that make IKT successful, and (iii) relevant differences across socio-cultural contexts. The evaluation described here is intended to provide relevant insights on all of these aspects, notably in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, and is expected to contribute to the science of IKT overall.
- ItemNational stakeholders’ perceptions of the processes that inform the development of national clinical practice guidelines for primary healthcare in South Africa(BioMed Central, 2018-07-31) Kredo, Tamara; Cooper, Sara; Abrams, Amber; Daniels, Karen; Volmink, Jimmy; Atkins, SallaBackground: There is increased international focus on improving the rigour of clinical practice guideline (CPG) development practices. However, few empirical studies on CPG development have been conducted in low- and middle-income countries. This paper explores national stakeholders’ perceptions of processes informing CPG development for primary healthcare in South Africa, focusing on both their aspirations and views of what is actually occurring. Methods: A qualitative study design was employed including individual interviews with 37 South African primary care CPG development role-players. Participants represented various disciplines, sectors and provinces. The data were analysed through thematic analysis and an interpretivist conceptual framework. Results: Strongly reflecting current international standards, participants identified six ‘aspirational’ processes that they thought should inform South African CPG development, as follows: (1) evidence; (2) stakeholder consultation; (3) transparency; (4) management of interests; (5) communication/co-ordination between CPG development groups; and (6) fit-for-context. While perceptions of a transition towards more robust processes was common, CPG development was seen to face ongoing challenges with regards to all six aspirational processes. Many challenges were attributed to inadequate financial and human resources, which were perceived to hinder capacity to undertake the necessary methodological work, respond to stakeholders’ feedback, and document and share decision-making processes. Challenges were also linked to a complex web of politics, power and interests. The CPG development arena was described as saturated with personal and financial interests, groups competing for authority over specific territories and unequal power dynamics which favour those with the time, resources and authority to make contributions. These were all perceived to affect efforts for transparency, collaboration and inclusivity in CPG development. Conclusion: While there is strong commitment amongst national stakeholders to advance CPG development processes, a mix of values, politics, power and capacity constraints pose significant challenges. Contrasting perspectives regarding managing interests and how best to adapt to within-country contexts requires further exploration. Dedicated resources for CPG development, standardised systems for managing conflicting interests, and the development of a political environment that fosters collaboration and more equitable inclusion within and between CPG development groups are needed. These initiatives may enhance CPG quality and acceptability, with associated positive impact on patient care.
- ItemNext generation clinical guidance for primary care in South Africa – credible, consistent and pragmatic(Public Library of Science, 2018-03-30) Machingaidze, Shingai; Grimmer, Karen; Louw, Quinette; Kredo, Tamara; Young, Taryn; Volmink, JimmyBackground: Agreed international development standards underpin high quality de novo clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). There is however, no international consensus on how high quality CPGs should ‘look’; or on whether high quality CPGs from one country can be viably implemented elsewhere. Writing de novo CPGs is generally resource-intensive and expensive, making this challenging in resource-poor environments. This paper proposes an alternative, efficient method of producing high quality CPGs in such circumstances, using existing CPGs layered by local knowledge, contexts and products. Methods: We undertook a mixed methods case study in South African (SA) primary healthcare (PHC), building on findings from four independent studies. These comprised an overview of international CPG activities; a rapid literature review on international CPG development practices; critical appraisal of 16 purposively-sampled SA PHC CPGs; and additional interrogation of these CPGs regarding how, why and for whom, they had been produced, and how they ‘looked’. Results: Despite a common aim to improve SA PHC healthcare practices, the included CPGs had different, unclear and inconsistent production processes, terminology and evidence presentation styles. None aligned with international quality standards. However many included innovative succinct guidance for end-users (which we classified as evidence-based summary recommendations, patient management tools or protocols). We developed a three-tiered model, a checklist and a glossary of common terms, for more efficient future production of better quality, contextually-relevant, locally-implementable SA PHC CPGs. Tier 1 involves transparent synthesis of existing high quality CPG recommendations; Tier 2 reflects local expertise to layer Tier 1 evidence with local contexts; and Tier 3 comprises tailored locally-relevant end-user guidance. Conclusion: Our model could be relevant for any resource-poor environment. It should reduce effort and costs in finding and synthesising available research evidence, whilst efficiently focusing scant resources on contextually-relevant evidence-based guidance, and implementation.
- ItemPrimary care clinical practice guidelines in South Africa : qualitative study exploring perspectives of national stakeholders(Biomed Central, 2017-08) Kredo, Tamara; Abrams, Amber; Young, Taryn; Louw, Quinette; Volmink, Jimmy; Daniels, KarenBackground Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) are common tools in policy and clinical practice informing clinical decisions at the bedside, governance of health facilities, health insurer and government spending, and patient choices. South Africa’s health sector is transitioning to a national health insurance system, aiming to build on other primary health care initiatives to transform the previously segregated, inequitable services. Within these plans CPGs are an integral tool for delivering standardised and cost effective care. Currently, there is no accepted standard approach to developing, adapting or implementing CPGs efficiently or effectively in South Africa. We explored the current players; drivers; and the context and processes of primary care CPG development from the perspective of stakeholders operating at national level. Methods We used a qualitative approach. Sampling was initially purposeful, followed by snowballing and further sampling to reach representivity of primary care service providers. Individual in-depth interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. We used thematic content analysis to analyse the data. Results We conducted 37 in-depth interviews from June 2014–July 2015. We found CPG development and implementation were hampered by lack of human and funding resources for technical and methodological work; fragmentation between groups, and between national and provincial health sectors; and lack of agreed systems for CPG development and implementation. Some CPG contributors steadfastly work to improve processes aiming to enhance communication, use of evidence, and transparency to ensure credible guidance is produced. Many interviewed had shared values, and were driven to address inequity, however, resource gaps were perceived to create an enabling environment for commercial interests or personal agendas to drive the CPG development process. Conclusions Our findings identified strengths and gaps in CPG development processes, and a need for national standards to guide CPG development and implementation. Based on our findings and suggestions from participants, a possible way forward would be for South Africa to have a centrally coordinated CPG unit to address these needs and aspects of fragmentation by devising processes that support collaboration, transparency and credibility across sectors and disciplines. Such an initiative will require adequate resourcing to build capacity and ensure support for the delivery of high quality CPGs for South African primary care.
- ItemPriority setting for new systematic reviews : processes and lessons learned in three regions in Africa(BMJ Publishing Group, 2019) Effa, Emmanuel E.; Oduwole, Olabisi; Schoonees, Anel; Hohlfeld, Ameer; Durao, Solange; Kredo, Tamara; Mbuagbaw, Lawrence; Meremikwu, Martin; Ongolo-Zogo, Pierre; Wiysonge, Charles S.; Young, TarynPriority setting to identify topical and context relevant questions for systematic reviews involves an explicit, iterative and inclusive process. In resource-constrained settings of low-income and middle-income countries, priority setting for health related research activities ensures efficient use of resources. In this paper, we critically reflect on the approaches and specific processes adopted across three regions of Africa, present some of the outcomes and share the lessons learnt while carrying out these activities. Priority setting for new systematic reviews was conducted between 2016 and 2018 across three regions in Africa. Different approaches were used: Multimodal approach (Central Africa), Modified Delphi approach (West Africa) and Multilevel stakeholder discussion (Southern-Eastern Africa). Several questions that can feed into systematic reviews have emerged from these activities. We have learnt that collaborative subregional efforts using an integrative approach can effectively lead to the identification of region specific priorities. Systematic review workshops including discussion about the role and value of reviews to inform policy and research agendas were a useful part of the engagements. This may also enable relevant stakeholders to contribute towards the priority setting process in meaningful ways. However, certain shared challenges were identified, including that emerging priorities may be overlooked due to differences in burden of disease data and differences in language can hinder effective participation by stakeholders. We found that face-to-face contact is crucial for success and follow-up engagement with stakeholders is critical in driving acceptance of the findings and planning future progress.
- ItemProtocol for a qualitative synthesis of barriers and facilitators in implementing guidelines for diagnosis of tuberculosis(BMJ Publishing Group, 2017-06) Ochodo, Eleanor; Kredo, Tamara; Young, Taryn; Wiysonge, Charles SheyIntroduction Despite the introduction of new tests and guidelines for diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB), worldwide case detection rate of TB is still suboptimal. This could be in part explained by the poor implementation of TB diagnostic guidelines. We aim to identify, appraise and synthesise qualitative evidence exploring the barriers and facilitators to implementing TB diagnostic guidelines. Methods and analysis A systematic review of qualitative studies will be conducted. Relevant electronic databases will be searched and studies included based on predefined inclusion criteria. We will also search reference lists, grey literature, conduct forward citation searches and contact relevant content experts. An adaptation of the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool will be used to assess the methodological quality of included studies. Two authors will review the search output, extract data and assess methodological quality independently, resolving any disagreements by consensus. We will use the thematic framework analysis approach based on the Supporting the Use of Research Evidence thematic framework to analyse and synthesise our data. We will apply the Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research approach to transparently assess our confidence in the findings of the systematic review.
- ItemResearch evidence and policy : qualitative study in selected provinces in South Africa and Cameroon(BioMed Central, 2015-09-03) Naude, Celeste E.; Zani, Babalwa; Ongolo-Zogo, Pierre; Wiysonge, Charles S.; Dudley, Lilian; Kredo, Tamara; Garner, Paul; Young, TarynENGLISH SUMMARY : Background: The translation of research into policy and practice is enhanced by policymakers who can recognise and articulate their information needs and researchers that understand the policymakers’ environment. As researchers, we sought to understand the policymaking process and how research evidence may contribute in South Africa and Cameroon. Methods: We conducted qualitative in-depth interviews in South Africa and focus group discussions in Cameroon with purposively sampled subnational (provincial and regional) government health programme managers. Audio recorded interviews were transcribed, thematically coded and analysed. Results: Participants in both countries described the complex, often lengthy nature of policymaking processes, which often include back-and-forth consultations with many diverse stakeholder groups. These processes may be influenced by political structures, relationships between national and subnational levels, funding and international stakeholder agendas. Research is not a main driver of policy, but rather current contextual realities, costs, logistics and people (clinicians, NGOs, funders) influence the policy, and research plays a part. Research evidence is frequently perceived as unavailable, inaccessible, ill-timed or not applicable. The reliability of research on the internet was questioned. Evidence-informed health decision-making (EIDM) is regarded as necessary in South Africa but is less well understood in Cameroon. Insufficient time and capacity were hindrances to EIDM in both countries. Good relationships between researchers and policymakers may facilitate EIDM. Researchers should have a good understanding of the policymaking environment if they want to influence it. Greater interaction between policymakers and researchers is perceived as beneficial when formulating research and policy questions as it raises researchers’ awareness of implementation challenges and enables the design of tailored and focused strategies to respond to policymakers’ needs. Conclusions: Policymaking is complicated, lengthy and mostly done at national level. Provinces/regions are tasked with implementation, with more room for adaptation in South Africa than in Cameroon. Research evidence plays a role in policy but does not drive it and is seen as mostly unavailable. Researchers need a thorough understanding of the policy process and environment, how the health system operates, as well as the priorities of policymakers. This can inform effective dialogue between researchers and policymakers, and contribute to enhancing use of research evidence in decision-making.
- ItemScreening strategies for adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus : a systematic review protocol(BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2020-07-13) Mearns, Helen; Otiku, Paul K.; Shelton, Mary; Kredo, Tamara; Kagina, Benjamin M.; Schmidt, Bey-MarrieBackground: There is limited evidence on whether screening for type 2 diabetes mellitus affects health outcomes. A recent systematic review of randomised clinical trials found only one trial that met their inclusion criteria; therefore, current guidelines for screening interventions for type 2 diabetes mellitus are based on expert opinions and best practice rather than synthesised evidence. This systematic review seeks to collate evidence from nonrandomised studies to investigate the effect of screening for adults with type 2 diabetes on outcomes including diabetes-related morbidity, mortality (all-cause and diabetes-related) and harms. Methods: This systematic review will follow Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) guidelines for the synthesis of non-randomised studies. We will search PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL, Academic Search Premier and Health Source Nursing Academic (from inception onwards). We will include non-randomised trials, controlled before-after studies, interrupted time-series studies, repeated measures studies and concurrently controlled prospective cohort studies. The primary outcome will be diabetes-related morbidity (microvascular complications of diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy or neuropathy or macrovascular complications of non-fatal myocardial infarction, peripheral arterial disease or non-fatal stroke). The secondary outcomes will be mortality (allcause and diabetes-related) and harms of screening strategies to patients (including psychological harms or adverse events following treatments) or to health care system (including resource allocation for false-positives or overdiagnosis). Two reviewers will independently screen all citations and full-text articles. Data will be abstracted by one reviewer and checked by a second. The risk of bias of individual studies will be appraised using the ROBINS-I tool. GRADE will be used to determine the quality of the scientific evidence. If feasible, we will conduct random effects meta-analysis where appropriate. If necessary, analyses will be conducted to explore the potential sources of heterogeneity (e.g. age, sex, socio-economic status, rural versus urban or low-middle income versus high-income country). We will disseminate the findings via publications and through relevant networks. Discussion: The protocol outlines the methods for systematically reviewing and synthesising evidence of screening strategies for type 2 diabetes mellitus and their effect on health outcomes associated with the disease. The potential impact of this systematic review is improved evidence-informed decision-making for policies and practice for screening of type-2 diabetes.
- ItemShifting tasks from pharmacy to nonpharmacy personnel for providing antiretroviral therapy to people living with HIV : a systematic review and metaanalysis(BMJ Publishing Group, 2017-8) Mbeye, Nyanyiwe Masingi; Adetokunboh, Olatunji; Negussie, Eyerusalem; Kredo, Tamara; Wiysonge, Charles SheyObjectives Lay people or non-pharmacy health workers with training could dispense antiretroviral therapy (ART) in resource-constrained countries, freeing up time for pharmacists to focus on more technical tasks. We assessed the effectiveness of such task-shifting in lowincome and middle-income countries. Method We conducted comprehensive searches of peerreviewed and grey literature. Two authors independently screened search outputs, selected controlled trials, extracted data and resolved discrepancies by consensus. We performed random-effects meta-analysis and assessed certainty of evidence using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Results Three studies with 1993 participants met the inclusion criteria, including two cluster trials conducted in Kenya and Uganda and an individually randomised trial conducted in Brazil. We found very low certainty evidence regarding mortality due to the low number of events. Therefore, we are uncertain whether there is a true increase in mortality as the effect size suggests, or a reduction in mortality between pharmacy and non-pharmacy models of dispensing ART (risk ratio (RR) 1.86, 95% CI 0.44 to 7.95, n=1993, three trials, very low certainty evidence). There may be no differences between pharmacy and non-pharmacy models of dispensing ART on virological failure (risk ratio (RR) 0.92, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.15, n=1993, three trials, low certainty evidence) and loss to follow-up (RR 1.13, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.91, n=1993. three trials, low certainty evidence). We found some evidence that costs may be reduced for the patient and health system when task-shifting is undertaken. Conclusions The low certainty regarding the evidence implies a high likelihood that further research may find the effects of the intervention to be substantially different from our findings. If resource-constrained countries decide to shift ART dispensing and distribution from pharmacy to non-pharmacy personnel, this should be accompanied by robust monitoring and impact evaluation.
- ItemSouth African clinical practice guidelines quality measured with complex and rapid appraisal instruments(BioMed Central, 2016-04-27) Grimmer, Karen; Machingaidze, Shingai; Dizon, Janine; Kredo, Tamara; Louw, Quinette; Young, TarynENGLISH SUMMARY : Background: Critically appraising the quality of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) is an essential element of evidence implementation. Critical appraisal considers the quality of CPG construction and reporting processes, and the credibility of the body of evidence underpinning ecommendations. To date, the focus on CPG critical appraisal has come from researchers and evaluators, using complex appraisal instruments. Rapid critical appraisal is a relatively new approach for CPGs, which targets busy end-users such as service managers and clinicians. This paper compares the findings of two critical appraisal instruments: a rapid instrument (iCAHE) and a complex instrument (AGREE II). They were applied independently to 16 purposively-sampled, heterogeneous South African CPGs, written for eleven primary health care conditions/health areas. Overall scores, and scores in the two instruments’ common domains Scope and Purpose, Stakeholder involvement, Underlying evidence/Rigour of Development, Clarity), were compared using Pearson r correlations and intraclass correlation coefficients. CPGs with differences of 10 % or greater between scores were identified and reasons sought for such differences. The time taken to apply the instruments was recorded. Results: Both instruments identified the generally poor quality of the included CPGs, particularly in Rigour of Development. Correlation and agreement between instrument scores was moderate, and there were no overall significant score differences. Large differences in scores for some CPGs could be explained by differences in instrument construction and focus, and CPG construction. The iCAHE instrument was demonstrably quicker to use than the AGREE II instrument. Conclusions: Either instrument could be used with confidence to assess the quality of CPGs. The choice of appraisal instrument depends on the needs and time of end-users. Having an alternative (rapid) critical appraisal tool will potentially encourage busy end-users to identify and use good quality CPGs to inform practice decisions.
- ItemSouth African Guidelines Excellence (SAGE) : clinical practice guidelines - quality and credibility(Health and Medical Publishing Group, 2015) Machingaidze, Shingai; Kredo, Tamara; Louw, Quinette; Young, Taryn; Grimmer, KarenENGLISH SUMMARY : In this editorial, the first in a series of six, we present issues critical to CPG development and uptake, relevant to South Africa (SA) and beyond. While recent local efforts to improve CPG quality and credibility in SA are commendable, opportunities to progress SA CPG quality and uptake are limited by the lack of a central, nationally recognised and accepted CPG development unit. Such a unit has the potential to significantly increase SA efforts to improve and standardise high-quality, credible CPG development, reporting and uptake. To this end, the Project SAGE (South African Guidelines Excellence) team is engaging in a 3-year stakeholder-driven process that aims to better understand the guideline development arena in SA, and improve the standard of local guideline development, adaptation, contextualisation, and ultimately implementation of primary healthcare guidelines.
- ItemSouth African Guidelines Excellence (SAGE) : efficient, effective and unbiased clinical practice guideline teams(Health & Medical Publishing Group, 2016) Grimmer, Karen; Dizon, Janine Margarita; Louw, Quinette; Kredo, Tamara; Young, Taryn; Machingaidze, ShingaiENGLISH SUMMARY : A range of different evidence-based methods for clinical practice guideline activities have been established, and there is common agreement in these that poorly conceived CPG team composition and management can jeopardise CPG integrity. Recognised CPG initiatives therefore provide guidance on CPG team construction and management. In this editorial, we outline steps for effective, efficient and outcome-focused CPG team membership, roles and management: (i) determine responsibilities and tasks; (ii) identify ‘experts’ and their ‘voices’; (iii) identify a CPG team leader; (iv) determine and declare conflicts of interest; (v) determine CPG team terms of reference; (vi) establish CPG timeframes and tailored capacity development; and (vii) establish consensus. Writing CPGs can be time-consuming and expensive.Efforts therefore need to be underpinned by efficient, respectful and agreed processes. Justifying CPG team membership, declaring conflicts of interest, identifying efficient ways of hearing constituent ‘voices’, defining and time-lining team tasks and roles, providing necessary training, and respecting individuals’ efforts and time should ensure that CPG team members enjoy their experiences. This will contribute to growing CPG expertise in South Africa and beyond.