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Quality Assessment tool for Quantitative Studies

This EPHPP “Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies” method and tool was developed for use in public health, and can be applied to articles of any public health topic area, including the promotion of family and sexual health and the prevention of chronic disease, injuries and substance misuse. Various types of public health professionals would find this tool relevant to utilize sources of high quality literature to support the decision-making process, especially when designing, implementing and evaluating public health programs and policy.

This knowledge translation and synthesis  method requires a group of four to six experts who can facilitate a process that includes generating a research question, searching for literature, appraisal of the literature, data extraction, and the synthesis and dissemination of results. This method requires a review team with at least one member having methodological expertise, and two members with subject expertise.

There are seven steps for using the EPHPP Quality Assessment Method or Tool

As described by Thomas et al. (2004), these steps are:

  1. Question formulation - to guide the review process and provide boundaries for the searching of the literature.
  2. Literature search and retrieval –electronic databases are searched with a series of terms organized around the topic of interest.
  3. Determining relevance criteria - to establish unique relevance criteria including a description of the population of interest, interventions, outcomes and study design (PICO).
  4. Assessment of literature for relevance and quality - independent assessment by two reviewers using established relevance criteria.
  5. Data extraction and synthesis - Data of relevance to the research question will be extracted from studies that have achieved the highest methodological rating. These findings are presented in a narrative synthesis. Meta-analysis is done when appropriate.Peer review of the report –the written report is scrutinized by external experts.
  6. Peer review of the report - synthesis of information and creation of a written report for peer review by five or more public health experts.
  7. Dissemination – involves active dissemination strategies in order to promote public health professionals use and uptake of the review results.