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Table 2 Examples of summaries of review findings, including how these might be improved

From: Applying GRADE-CERQual to qualitative evidence synthesis findings—paper 2: how to make an overall CERQual assessment of confidence and create a Summary of Qualitative Findings table

Example Original summary of a review finding Explanation of concerns with how the review finding has been written Improved summary of a review finding
1 Lay health workers in child health studies in Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and supervisors from these studies, as well as two studies in HIV/AIDS clinics in South Africa, expressed concern about the lay health workers’ workload and the distances they had to cover. Lay health workers in Angola, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe sometimes found it difficult to carry out all of their tasks because of this. Unnecessary contextual information included in the summary of a review finding Lay health workers and supervisors expressed concern about the lay health workers’ workload and the distances they had to cover, and lay health workers sometimes found it difficult to carry out all of their tasks because of this.
2 Some parents wanted less information about childhood vaccination while other parents wanted a larger amount of information and/or information at a larger number of timepoints. Acceptance of vaccination varied among these parents. The summary review of a finding is not as explicit as possible—the hypothesised connection between the amount of information that parents would like to receive and their acceptance of vaccination is implied, but not spelled out The amount of information that parents would like to receive about childhood vaccination is linked to their acceptance of vaccination. Parents who had accepted vaccination as necessary typically wanted less information. Parents who questioned or refused vaccinations typically wanted a larger amount of information and / or information at a larger number of timepoints.
3 Women reported being beaten by health workers. This summary of a review finding provides insufficient detail to understand the situation Women reported experiencing physical force by health providers during childbirth, In some cases, women reported specific acts of violence committed against them during childbirth, but women often referred to these experiences in a general sense and alluded to beatings, aggression, physical abuse, a rough touch, and use of extreme force. Pinching, hitting and slapping (either with an open hand or an instrument) were the most commonly reported specific acts of violence.
  1. Adapted from [9, 12, 14]. Please note that an assessment of whether a summary of a review finding is sufficiently clear and explicit involves a judgement