During the COVID19 pandemic, health professionals, authorities and researchers have faced an important challenge: to find reliable sources of evidence-based, trustworthy recommendations that are relevant to their local contexts and lead to better-informed decisions.
In order to address this challenge, an international group of researchers, which includes the Epistemonikos methodology team, led by our chairman Dr Gabriel Rada, has created the “COVID19 map of recommendations and gateway to contextualization” project. This is a living repository of clinical recommendations that provides structured and reliable evidence about the virus and the disease.
This map uses the L·OVE Platform to gather the evidence necessary for contextualizing recommendations according to a series of factors such as geographical, demographical, and others. With this technology, the emerging guideline literature is added automatically to the repository, on an ongoing basis, allowing structured access to individual recommendations.
A recent article about this project in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology highlights the contextualization capabilities of this decision tool. Using an ‘adolopment module’, a methodology based on GRADE’s ETD (Evidence to Decision) framework, users can adapt the recommendations in the map to context-sensitive research questions, and inform the contextual factors with quality evidence.
Dr Rada, who was also one of the article’s collaborators, explains that “users who need to apply the recommendations from this map can do so by using the ‘adolopment’ module to incorporate the context of specific situations, identifying high quality and always updated evidence through L·OVE’s technology. This allows stakeholders to incorporate these recommendations into their clinical practice and health decisions in an adequate and timely way”.
The creators of this instrument, who have themselves experienced the lack of a tool with these functionalities, have said that “this portal of evidence-informed recommendations, built with intuitive functionalities, easy to navigate and with a support team ready to guide users across the maps, represents a long-needed tool for decision-makers, guideline developers and the public at large”.