Defining decision thresholds for judgments on health benefits and harms using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) Evidence to Decision (EtD) frameworks: a protocol for a randomised methodological study (GRADE-THRESHOLD) Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • IntroductionThe Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) and similar Evidence to Decision (EtD) frameworks require its users to judge how substantial the effects of interventions are on desirable and undesirable people-important health outcomes. However, decision thresholds (DTs) that could help understand the magnitude of intervention effects and serve as reference for interpretation of findings are not yet available.The objective of this study is an approach to derive and use DTs for EtD judgments about the magnitude of health benefits and harms. We hypothesise that approximate DTs could have the ability to discriminate between the existing four categories of EtD judgments (Trivial, Small, Moderate, Large), support panels of decision-makers in their work, and promote consistency and transparency in judgments.Methods and analysisWe will conduct a methodological randomised controlled trial to collect the data that allow deriving the DTs. We will invite clinicians, epidemiologists, decision scientists, health research methodologists, experts in Health Technology Assessment (HTA), members of guideline development groups and the public to participate in the trial. Then, we will investigate the validity of our DTs by measuring the agreement between judgments that were made in the past by guideline panels and the judgments that our DTs approach would suggest if applied on the same guideline data.Ethics and disseminationThe Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board reviewed this study as a quality improvement study and determined that it requires no further consent. Survey participants will be required to read a consent statement in order to participate in this study at the beginning of the trial. This statement reads: You are being invited to participate in a research project which aims to identify indicative DTs that could assist users of the GRADE EtD frameworks in making judgments. Your input will be used in determining these indicative thresholds. By completing this survey, you provide consent that the anonymised data collected will be used for the research study and to be summarised in aggregate in publication and electronic tools.PROTOCOL registration numberNCT05237635.

publication date

  • March 2022