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AHRQ Series Commentary 1: Rating the evidence in comparative effectiveness reviews

      Authorities acknowledge that systematic reviews provide the optimal basis for collecting and assessing the evidence that bears on patient management recommendations. In his article introducing JCE's series describing the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)'s effective health care program, Mark Helfand distinguishes between systematic reviews and “complex evidence reports” that address a broader range of questions, including “definition, diagnosis, management, and follow-up of a disease or condition.” Aside from definition, all these questions appear to us as an examination of alternative approaches to managing patients. Such issues are best addressed by structured questions and, if brought together in a single document, constitute a series of related systematic reviews or overviews of systematic reviews.
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