Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Evidence Foundation Scholar Update

Contributed by Janice Tufte, 2019 Evidence Foundation Scholar & Madelin Siedler, 2019/2020 U.S. GRADE Network Research Fellow

Janice Tufte, an independent consultant and a leader in patient-public partnership initiatives, received a scholarship to attend the tenth GRADE guideline development workshop held in Denver, Colorado in February 2019 (blog post here). As part of her scholarship, Tufte presented to the larger workshop group on the unique opportunities of using patient partners during the development of GRADE guidelines.

Spring 2019 scholarship recipients: Dr. Irbaz bin Riaz (L) and Ms. Janice Tufte (R)

Tufte has worked with the American College of Physicians as a public panel member on multiple guidelines in addition to serving as a panel member of their Clinical Guidelines Committee. In these roles, she has provided input on outcomes of importance and on future topics for guideline development and is listed as a co-author on recent guidelines and guidance statements. She has also presented to groups on the basics of guideline development including fellow ambassadors of the Patient-Centers Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

Recently, Tufte co-published a protocol for the development of guidance for multi-stakeholder engagement (MuSE) in health and healthcare guideline development and implementation. The forthcoming guidance will be based on four different systematic reviews, including an examination of the current barriers and opportunities for stakeholder involvement in the guideline development process and the effect of stakeholder engagement on resulting guidelines and their implementation. The project will ultimately provide recommendations for ways to improve stakeholder engagement.

Here, Tufte provides an update on her work to continue to promote patient involvement in guideline development, including the use of GRADEpro software for these purposes.
My first exposure to the GRADE process and subsequent utilization of the GRADEpro platform genuinely captured and kept my attention. I quickly realized how beneficial both the Evidence to Decision and Summary Tables could be to public patients involved with systematic reviews, guideline development, and recommendations. I could view the overall landscape and better comprehend the pertinent information and findings in the EtD and Summary table that I needed as a non-scientist, allowing me to contribute more effectively in a meaningful manner in a panel conversation on evidence, recommendations or judgements.

GRADEpro is a versatile and modifiable online format. We are able to create a foundation based on the specificities and needs unique to our individual question that will then display the evidence and quality syntheses in a neat table as well as a reliable summary. Having diverse stakeholders at the table is important. Encouraging all to bring in the public and patient perspective is my particular favorite niche, and I will continue to promote this no matter the topic area.

I have recently enjoyed working with the new GRADEpro extensions while serving on a guidelines panel, where we have incorporated GRADE infographics. One challenge I have discovered is synthesizing the information down to an easy understandable one-pager for both clinicians and public reading.

I am looking forward to working with GRADE in the future, with a goal to better deliver reliable, understandable evidence to all who could benefit.
Stay tuned for future updates regarding Janice’s continued work in promoting patient engagement in guideline development.

If you are interested in learning more about GRADE and attending the workshop as a scholarship recipient, applications for our upcoming workshop in Chicago this October are open. The deadline to apply is July 31, 2020. Details can be found here.