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Effective Health Care Program

About the Evidence Synthesis Process

The Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs) use rigorous methods and guidelines to synthesize evidence—from clinical research studies, clinical trials, and other research studies—on the effectiveness of a test, procedure, or treatment.

These are the major steps used by the EPCs to synthesize the evidence.

1. Topics Are Nominated and Selected

Individuals and organizations submit suggestions for evidence reports. You can submit new topics for consideration. All suggestions for research are carefully considered based on a set of criteria, including importance, feasibility, and potential impact on the quality of patient care. Read suggested topics for evidence reports.

2. Key Questions Are Posted and Made Available for Public Comment

A set of key questions are posted on the Effective Health Care (EHC) Program Web site and are made available for public comment for a 3-week period. You can find key questions available for comment. These key questions help guide the research process and focus the researchers on what to look for in the evidence.

3. Research Begins

Suggestions that are selected are then developed into a topic for evidence synthesis. The EPC Program follows a set of principles when conducting evidence syntheses. There will be an opportunity to submit Supplemental Evidence and Data during a 4-week period. See the type of information that would be helpful.

4. A Draft Report Is Posted and Made Available for Public Comment

A draft report is a first version of the research findings. The EHC Program makes this version available for public comment on its website for a 4-week period so that the public can make comments about the findings or the way in which the findings are communicated. You can comment on draft reports. This step reflects the EHC Program's commitment to keeping the research process as open to the public as possible.

5. The Final Report Is Published

Upon completion of the evidence synthesis, a final report is developed. Learn more about the EPC processes for editorial review.