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Table 4 CERQual Qualitative Evidence Profile—Example B

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

Summary of review finding Studies contributing to the review finding Methodological limitations Coherence Adequacy Relevancea CERQual assessment of confidence in the evidence Explanation of CERQual assessment
1. While regular salaries were not part of many programmes, other monetary and non-monetary incentives, including payment to cover out-of-pocket expenses and “work tools” such as bicycles, uniforms or identity badges, were greatly appreciated by lay health workers. 2, 5, 11, 12, 22, 29 Minor methodological limitations
(five studies with minor and one study with moderate methodological limitations (unclear recruitment and sampling strategy, no reflexivity))
Minor concerns about coherence
(some concerns about the fit between the data from primary studies and the review finding)
Minor concerns about adequacy
(six studies that together offered moderately rich data)
Minor concerns about relevance
(studies of lay health worker programmes from three continents and including a fairly wide range of different clients and health issues)
Moderate
confidence
Minor concerns regarding methodological limitations, relevance, coherence and adequacy.
2. Some unsalaried lay health workers expressed a strong wish for regular payment. 5, 13 Minor methodological limitations
(both studies had minor methodological limitations (unclear sampling strategy, no reflexivity))
Minor concerns about coherence
(some concerns about the fit between the data from primary studies and the review finding)
Serious concerns about adequacy
(only two studies, both offering thin data)
Moderate concerns about relevance
(partial relevance as the studies were from only two settings, both of which were in Africa)
Low confidence Moderate concerns regarding relevance and serious concerns regarding adequacy of data.
3. Lay health workers, particularly those working in urban settings, reported difficulties maintaining personal safety when working in dangerous settings or at night. 3, 15, 16, 25, 31 Moderate methodological limitations
(2 studies with minor methodological limitations, 2 studies with moderate methodological limitations (unclear ethical considerations and unclear statement of research aims)
Minor concerns about coherence
(some concerns about the fit between the data from primary studies and the review finding)
Moderate concerns about adequacy
(studies offered very thin data)
Minor concerns about relevance
(studies of lay health worker programmes across three continents but for a limited range of health issues)
Moderate confidence Moderate methodological limitations and moderate concerns regarding adequacy of data.
  1. Review findings taken from [14] and adapted to fit the context of this article. The review findings presented here are drawn from the wider thematic synthesis undertaken for this review. The themes identified were summarised into summaries of review findings, as illustrated in this table. The methods are described in more detail in [14]
  2. aWhen describing relevance judgements, consider the following prompts to help elucidate ‘partial’ and/or ‘unclear’ relevance: phenomenon of interest, population (including subgroups), setting, place, intervention, findings