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AHRQ Series Part II: Methods Guide for Comparative Effectiveness - Guest Editor, Mark Helfand| Volume 64, ISSUE 11, P1166-1167, November 2011

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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Effective Health Care (EHC) Program Methods Guide for Comparative Effectiveness Reviews: keeping up-to-date in a rapidly evolving field

  • Stephanie M. Chang
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. AHRQ, Center for Outcomes and Evidence, 540 Gaither Rd. #6228, Rockville, MD 20850, United States. Tel.: +1 301 427 1490; fax: +1 301 427 1520.
    Affiliations
    AHRQ Center for Outcomes and Evidence, Rockville, MD 20850, USA
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      A challenge for any research program is to ensure consistent use of the most current scientific methods, especially in a rapidly evolving field. Systematic review is a field that is moving into maturity from its adolescence. This issue of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology includes 5 papers that nearly complete version 1.0 of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Effective Health Care Program Methods Guide for Comparative Effectiveness Reviews (Methods Guide). The Methods Guide is a collaborative effort among participating scientists at the 14 Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs) and AHRQ to identify the best methods for conducting systematic reviews on comparative effectiveness of interventions. The AHRQ-funded EPC Program was established in 1997. These articles address areas of unnecessary variation, uncertainty, and areas of controversy raised by peer or public review of early Comparative Effectiveness Reviews. The best approaches were guided by a combination of non-systematic review of empiric research and EPC experience and best practices in performing complex systematic reviews of comparative interventions. This methods guidance is intended to help advance the science and practice of systematic reviews, especially within the AHRQ EPC program.
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