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Table 4 Questions Concerning evaluation of the quality of scientific evidence

From: The use of evidence in public governmental reports on health policy: an analysis of 17 Norwegian official reports (NOU)

Question A. Relevance: Is it clear to whom the information in the report applies?
No Partial   Yes  
Potentially misleading Minor lack of clarity. Minimal ambiguity
1 2 3 4 5
Question B. Documentation: Does the presented evidence rely on research, and are references given?
No Partial   Yes  
Potentially misleading Statements are attributed to sources, but the underlying evidence is ambiguous The evidence underlying the main points is clearly cited
1 2 3 4 5
Question C. Validity: Is the assessment of the credibility of the evidence clear and well-founded?
No Partial   Yes  
Not done or potentially misleading Study design or type of evidence reported but not properly assessed Strengths of the research methods adequately assessed
1 2 3 4 5
Question D. Size of effect: Is the strength of the findings (effects) clearly reported?
No Partial   Yes  
Not done or potentially misleading The magnitude of effects is reported incompletely or ambiguously Magnitude of effects clearly reported
1 2 3 4 5
Question E. Precision. Are confidence intervals identified and evaluated when relevant?
No Partial   Yes  
Not done or potentially misleading Indirectly or incompletely Confidence intervals adequately assessed
1 2 3 4 5
Question F. Consistency: Is the consistency of the evidence (between studies) considered?
No Partial   Yes  
Not done or potentially misleading More than one study is discussed, but consistency is not clearly reported Number of studies and consistency clearly reported
1 2 3 4 5
Question G. Consequences: Are the main consequences (benefits, risks and costs) identified and assessed ?
No Partial   Yes  
Potentially misleading Important consequences are not considered Most important consequences are are clearly identified
1 2 3 4 5
Question H. Overall quality: Based on the answers to the above questions, how would you rate the overall scientific quality?
Low Moderate   High  
Critical or extensive shortcomings Potentially important but not critical shortcomings Minimal shortcomings
1 2 3 4 5