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Table 1 Criteria of the GRADE evidence-to-decision framework and where qualitative evidence might be useful in relation to these criteria

From: Qualitative Evidence Synthesis (QES) for Guidelines: Paper 2 – Using qualitative evidence synthesis findings to inform evidence-to-decision frameworks and recommendations

Criteria that are typically considered in GRADE evidence-to-decision frameworks Where qualitative evidence may be useful and what type
How large are the positive (desirable) effects of the intervention? Not applicable
How large are the negative (undesirable) effects of the intervention? Not applicable
What is the overall certainty of the evidence of effects? Not applicable
Is there important uncertainty about or variability in how much people value the outcomes and/or interventions? QES at the scoping stage of the guideline or decision processa
What is the overall balance of effects? QES findings on how the key stakeholder groups, including citizens, service users and service providers, value different outcomes
How large are the resource requirements? Not applicable
What would be the impacts on gender, health equity and human rights? QES findings on equity issues such as barriers and facilitators to accessing the option
Is the option acceptable to key stakeholders? QES findings on the acceptability of the option
Is the option feasible to implement? QES findings on the feasibility of the option
What are the implementation considerations? QES findings that informed the other framework criteria can be used to develop or infer implementation considerationsb
  1. aUsing QES findings at the scoping stage of a guideline is discussed in paper 1 in this series [16]
  2. bHow the findings from QES can be used to develop or infer implementation considerations is discussed in paper 3 in this series [17]