Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Fall 2018 Scholarship Recipients

Contributed by Madelin Siedler, 2018/2019 U.S GRADE Network Research Fellow

We were pleased to support the participation of three research scholars at our recent GRADE guideline development workshop held in Silver Spring, Maryland, October 17-19, 2018. By providing complementary registration, we hope that these scholars increased their understanding and application of the GRADE approach. As part of the U.S. GRADE Network/Evidence Foundation scholarship, recipients presented to fellow workshop participants about their interests and current endeavors in the field of guideline development.

Scholarship recipients: Oilvia Magwood, Mohamad Kalot, and Mohammed Alkhatib

A few details about our Fall 2018 scholarship recipients:

Mohamad Kalot, MD, a postdoctoral research fellow at University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, applied for the scholarship due to his interest in improving quality and decreasing disparities in healthcare through the development of evidence-based guidelines. Dr. Kalot presented on his current work in the development of guidelines for the management of rare diseases. Dr. Kalot explained how the development of such guidelines presents a unique challenge in that there is often a dearth of research on these populations, which can affect the directness of evidence among other factors.

“Since an important part of my conducted reviews and research deals with developing guidelines for rare diseases, I would ultimately face specific challenges in the process of assessing the certainty of evidence in my work, and I’m interested in exploring innovative methods to deal with these challenges,” said Kalot. “The GRADE workshop in Silver Spring didn’t only help me find solutions for my challenges, it made me see the research methodology world from a different, deeper and more practical perspective - especially with the very helpful tools [RevMan and GRADEpro Guideline Development Tool] that we learned about in the small groups sessions and the discussions about rating up and rating down the quality of evidence.”

Olivia Magwood, MPH, attended from the Buyere Research Institute in Ottawa, Ontario, where she has participated in the development of three national and international guidelines. Ms. Magwood presented on the development of the FACE (Feasibility, Acceptability, Cost, and Equity) Framework Stakeholder Survey. The FACE Stakeholder Survey aims to identify cognitive bias that may influence guideline development as well as inform the quality and impact and improve the uptake of evidence-based recommendations in various stakeholder groups.

“For me, the GRADE workshop highlighted the importance of building my network and having the right people on your team throughout the guideline development process,” explained Magwood. “This includes involving methodologists early and throughout guideline development, as well as emphasizing patient perspectives, especially while deciding on patient-important outcomes. Guideline development is truly a collaborative process that benefits from multi-stakeholder engagement.”

Mohammed Alkhatib, MD, a postdoctoral research fellow at University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, applied for the scholarship due to his interest in examining and refining the adoption, adaptation and de novo development (or “adolopment,” for short) of guidelines to be used in lower-resource settings. Dr. Alkhatib presented on the importance of this approach, as well as the unique challenges of tailoring the development of clinical recommendations to settings with limited resources, such as developing nations and areas of conflict.

“It was an exceptional experience for me to present my proposal in front of high-level scholars of guideline development and to listen to their positive feedback,” said Alkhatib. “[The] GRADE workshop was very helpful for me at the level of interpretation of [systematic reviews] and how to judge strengths and weaknesses using GRADEpro.”

**If interested in applying for a scholarship to future GRADE workshops, more details can be found here: Please note the deadline for applications to our next workshop in Denver, Colorado will be January 1, 2019.