I’ve been working on a document associated with the RiSC study today. RiSC is an evidence synthesis of ‘risk’ for young people moving into, through and out of inpatient mental health services. To guide our review we’re using a framework developed by members of the the EPPI-Centre, about which more can be found by clicking on the logo below:
Distinct about the EPPI-Centre approach is the emphasis placed on engaging with representatives of groups and communities with interests in the area under review. In their Methods for Conducting Systematic Reviews document the EPPI-Centre people write:
Approaches to reviewing
Involving representatives of all those who might have a vested interest in a particular systematic review helps to ensure that it is a relevant and useful piece of research.
Everyone has a vested interest in public policy issues such as health, education, work and welfare. Consequently everyone, whether they wish to be actively engaged or not, has a vested interest in what research is undertaken in these fields and how research findings are shared and put to use.
Reviews are driven by the questions that they are seeking to answer. Different users may have different views about why a particular topic is important and interpret the issues within different ideological and theoretical perspectives.
Involving a range of users in a review is important as it enables reviewers to recognise and consider different users’ implicit viewpoints and thus to make a considered decision about the question that the review is attempting to answer. The aim is to be transparent about why a review has the focus that it does, rather than assuming it is, or is attempting to be, everything to everyone.
In our review (as you’ll see if you download our protocol from the link given at the top of this post above) we’re combining a broad descriptive mapping of the territory with a more selective, in-depth, review guided by the priorities of stakeholder representatives. These are people with experience of using, working in or managing child and adolescent mental health services.
I like this approach to conducting evidence reviews, appreciating the commitment it demands to the agreement of topic areas and to being open in decision-making. All going well I’ll be continuing with some RiSC work tomorrow.
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