Ongoing efforts to scientifically evaluate the methods used to conduct systematic reviews are critical for ensuring the validity and credibility of current and future systematic reviews. As the largest producers of systematic reviews in North America and Canada, AHRQ's Evidence-based Practice Centers are also leaders in advancing the methodology of conducting systematic reviews.
Methods development and refinement is a natural outgrowth of many of our projects and many important methodological publications have resulted from this work. KP EPC investigators participate in workgroups of AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program to advance the methods of conducting systematic reviews. We have collaborated in workgroups on stakeholder engagement, using existing systematic reviews, multi-component interventions, topic refinement, reporting bias, subpopulation analysis, quality improvement, risk of bias, quantitative analysis approaches, and adapting IOM standards to the EPC Program.
Our researchers have also been deeply involved in methods and procedural development for the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for over 15 years. We provide ongoing support for four USPSTF workgroups that focus on methodological issues or population groups, including workgroups on methods, topic prioritization, child and maternal health, and dissemination and implementation.
KP EPC researchers have continued to help the USPSTF refine its approaches to updating reviews, incorporating decision analyses with systematic reviews, and adapting the USPSTF methods to fairly address the needs of specific populations. In addition, we helped create the first USPSTF Procedure Manual in collaboration with USPSTF members and AHRQ, and have led efforts to articulate, implement, and refine methods for the USPSTF across a wide range of methodological areas.