Evidence Base

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Evidence base

Systematic literature review

NICE’s information services team identified relevant quantitative evidence through focused evidence searches between 22 and 28 October 2020 (see NICE evidence reviews). Additional studies were also considered from NICE surveillance up to 28 October 2020. These search records were also subsequently  assessed  for  inclusion.  Results  from  the  literature  searches  were  screened  using  their titles and abstracts for relevance against the criteria from the protocol (see NICE evidence reviews).  Four  reviewers  screened  titles  and  abstracts  and  assessed  the  full  text  references  of  potentially relevant evidence to determine whether they met the inclusion criteria for this guideline. All uncertainties were discussed and referred to an adviser if needed.

Literature search for patient issues

Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s Knowledge Management Team identified relevant evidence through systematic searches of the primary and secondary qualitative literature up to 29 October 2020 (see HIS evidence review). Resources searched include bibliographic databases, grey literature sources, and preprint databases. Results from the literature searches were screened for relevance using  their  titles  and  abstracts.  Two  reviewers  independently  screened  all  titles  and  abstracts.  Potentially relevant studies identified based on the title and abstract were then assessed in full text independently by two reviewers to determine whether they met the inclusion criteria.  All uncertainties were discussed and referred to a third reviewer if needed. One study was excluded following examination of the full text. See HIS evidence review for the study flow chart of included studies and a list of excluded studies, with reasons for exclusion.

Review and updating

SIGN, NICE and the RCGP have committed to developing the guideline using a ‘living’ approach, which means that targeted areas of the guideline will be continuously reviewed and updated in response to emerging evidence.



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