Living network meta-analysis and rapid recommendations for the treatment of COVID-19

Brignardello Petersen, Romina Andrea | $1,365,525

Ontario McMaster University 2021 CIHR Project Grant

Patients and clinician worldwide need trustworthy, rapidly updated guidelines to inform their treatment of patients with COVID-19. Trustworthy guidelines need trustworthy evidence summaries. These summaries need to be up to date and need to differentiate well done studies producing valid results from poorly done studies that are likely to be misleading. The evidence needs to be interpreted properly by considering all the relevant studies addressing each treatment, including their strengths and limitations. In addition, it is important to revise evidence summaries frequently as new information is published. We have created trustworthy summaries of the evidence that we update continually as new studies are published. We search many databases to detect all relevant trials including COVID‑19 patients. We evaluate design and conduct of the studies to separate the more and less valid. We also combine the results from all of studies in a single analysis that allows patients and doctors to compare all treatment options. These optimal evidence summaries inform trustworthy practice guidelines. We create trustworthy guidelines by constituting a panel that includes experts in COVID-19, experts in assessing evidence, front-line clinicians treating COVID-19, and patients who have lived experience of COVID-19. Panel members are free of conflict of interest. These recommendations are produced quickly and revised constantly as researchers publish new data. Finally, we publish our summaries and recommendations in websites that are freely available to all. The work is conducted in collaboration with a leading medical journal, the British Medical Journal, and is published there. The work is also conducted in collaboration with the World Health Organization, and are published as WHO guidelines. The pandemic will not be over soon. We will continue producing and updating these evidence summaries and recommendations using the large amount of new evidence that is published every day.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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