A new paper published in BMC Research Methodology describes a novel approach for supporting collaboration between review authors and stakeholders.
The paper, published by a team of Cochrane review authors and editors, is intended to help review authors engage with stakeholders and use their expertise to consider applicability of review findings. The TRANSFER Approach supports this collaboration from the beginning of the review process so as to systematically and transparently consider factors that may influence the transferability of systematic review findings.
Lead author, Heather Munthe-Kaas, from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, notes that “This paper provides systematic review authors with a template for how to engage with decision makers and other stakeholders. All too often we conduct systematic reviews and fail to consider how the review findings will be used in real life. When we have the opportunity to discuss the review beforehand with practitioners and decision makers, we are sitting on a wealth of knowledge and expertise that we ourselves often lack. TRANSFER helps us to use stakeholder knowledge to consider context and how an intervention may work in a local context.”
The paper is intended primarily for researchers undertaking systematic reviews that will be used to inform decision making processes, but it is also relevant for decision makers and practitioners.