Background: one of the main challenges that the use of evidence to support decision making faces is the implementation of evidence-driven guidelines to translate and disseminate knowledge and health recommendations for all users.
In this context, summary of findings (SoF) tables and plain language summaries (PLS) are crucial initiatives to better translate the findings of the evidence, facilitating decision making processes of relevant stakeholders. Considering the importance of this issue for public health purposes, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Chile has decided to conduct a study to validate PLS in Spanish, evaluating its understanding with policy-makers, clinicians, and patients.
Objectives: the aim of this study is to locally validate the format and writing of SoF tables and PLS, that are also used in Cochrane Reviews
Methods: considering the methods used to validate SoF tables and PLS in previous studies, we will use a qualitative design incorporating policymakers, clinical decision makers and patients.
We will conduct individual, semi-structured interviews including MoH policymakers (38 interviews), four group interviews for clinicians and patients (7 to 15 participants each). The clinicians’ group will gather health professionals who participated in a clinical guideline during 2018. The patients’ groups will gather members of patients’ associations recognized by the MoH.
Questions will include understanding, information gaps (including benefits and risks for patients), uses and suitability for decision making, reliability, possible conflict of interest surrounding the issue, ease of access of the information, and the overall layout and visual aspects.
We will conduct content analysis separately for each participant group. We will collate changes in SoF tables and key messages as much as possible to reach a general format. Should any unexpected or unsolved issues arise regarding tables' format at this stage, we will conduct a short Delphi exercise for clarification.
We will ask participants in every group to sign an informed consent and we will code their identification.
Results: we will present our results at the Symposium as this is ongoing research.
Conclusions: PLS and SoF tables are key tools to bridge the gap between scientific evidence and decision making for both clinical and political domains. In this context, this study will contribute on producing tailored evidence syntheses, that could better inform decisions for policymakers, clinicians, and patients. Having validated PLS and SoF tables in Spanish will contribute to the implementation of clinical guidelines and evidence synthesis for policymaking processes.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: we will explicitly incorporate patients in this study by actively considering them as participants, and the SoF table and PLS could be designed to improve their understanding of the evidence.