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Table 3 Issues to consider when assessing research evidence about the benefits, harms, and costs of options

From: SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health Policymaking (STP) 5: Using research evidence to frame options to address a problem

Issue Why it is important to consider the issue Source of additional information
Quality • Research evidence of low quality (i.e. that is not valid, credible or rigorous) can give policymakers a false impression of the likely costs and consequences of an option • Article 8 in this series addresses how to assess the quality of systematic reviews [16]
Article 16 addresses how to use a balance sheet incorporating assessments of the quality of evidence [17]
Applicability • Research evidence produced in other jurisdictions can be valuable, but policymakers need to consider how likely it is that the costs and consequences of an option would be different in their setting • Article 9 in this series addresses how to assess the applicability of the findings from systematic reviews to a specific setting [18]
Equity • Research evidence focused on overall effects or effects among advantaged groups can be valuable. However, policymakers need to consider how likely it is that the costs and consequences of an option would be different in disadvantaged groups • Article 10 addresses how to take equity into consideration when assessing the findings of a systematic review [19]