Do Cochrane summaries help student midwives understand the findings of Cochrane systematic reviews: the BRIEF randomised trial View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle      Open Access: True


Article Info

DATE

2016-03-01

AUTHORS

Fiona Alderdice, Jenny McNeill, Toby Lasserson, Elaine Beller, Margaret Carroll, Vanora Hundley, Judith Sunderland, Declan Devane, Jane Noyes, Susan Key, Sarah Norris, Janine Wyn-Davies, Mike Clarke

ABSTRACT

BackgroundAbstracts and plain language summaries (PLS) are often the first, and sometimes the only, point of contact between readers and systematic reviews. It is important to identify how these summaries are used and to know the impact of different elements, including the authors’ conclusions. The trial aims to assess whether (a) the abstract or the PLS of a Cochrane Review is a better aid for midwifery students in assessing the evidence, (b) inclusion of authors’ conclusions helps them and (c) there is an interaction between the type of summary and the presence or absence of the conclusions.MethodsEight hundred thirteen midwifery students from nine universities in the UK and Ireland were recruited to this 2 × 2 factorial trial (abstract versus PLS, conclusions versus no conclusions). They were randomly allocated to one of four groups and asked to recall knowledge after reading one of four summary formats of two Cochrane Reviews, one with clear findings and one with uncertain findings. The primary outcome was the proportion of students who identified the appropriate statement to describe the main findings of the two reviews as assessed by an expert panel.ResultsThere was no statistically significant difference in correct response between the abstract and PLS groups in the clear finding example (abstract, 59.6 %; PLS, 64.2 %; risk difference 4.6 %; CI −0.2 to 11.3) or the uncertain finding example (42.7 %, 39.3 %, −3.4 %, −10.1 to 3.4). There was no significant difference between the conclusion and no conclusion groups in the example with clear findings (conclusions, 63.3 %; no conclusions, 60.5 %; 2.8 %; −3.9 to 9.5), but there was a significant difference in the example with uncertain findings (44.7 %; 37.3 %; 7.3 %; 0.6 to 14.1, p = 0.03). PLS without conclusions in the uncertain finding review had the lowest proportion of correct responses (32.5 %). Prior knowledge and belief predicted student response to the clear finding review, while years of midwifery education predicted response to the uncertain finding review.ConclusionsAbstracts with and without conclusions generated similar student responses. PLS with conclusions gave similar results to abstracts with and without conclusions. Removing the conclusions from a PLS with uncertain findings led to more problems with interpretation. More... »

PAGES

40

Journal

TITLE

Systematic Reviews

ISSUE

1

VOLUME

5

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1186/s13643-016-0214-8

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13643-016-0214-8

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1025405695

PUBMED

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26932724


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27 schema:description BackgroundAbstracts and plain language summaries (PLS) are often the first, and sometimes the only, point of contact between readers and systematic reviews. It is important to identify how these summaries are used and to know the impact of different elements, including the authors’ conclusions. The trial aims to assess whether (a) the abstract or the PLS of a Cochrane Review is a better aid for midwifery students in assessing the evidence, (b) inclusion of authors’ conclusions helps them and (c) there is an interaction between the type of summary and the presence or absence of the conclusions.MethodsEight hundred thirteen midwifery students from nine universities in the UK and Ireland were recruited to this 2 × 2 factorial trial (abstract versus PLS, conclusions versus no conclusions). They were randomly allocated to one of four groups and asked to recall knowledge after reading one of four summary formats of two Cochrane Reviews, one with clear findings and one with uncertain findings. The primary outcome was the proportion of students who identified the appropriate statement to describe the main findings of the two reviews as assessed by an expert panel.ResultsThere was no statistically significant difference in correct response between the abstract and PLS groups in the clear finding example (abstract, 59.6 %; PLS, 64.2 %; risk difference 4.6 %; CI −0.2 to 11.3) or the uncertain finding example (42.7 %, 39.3 %, −3.4 %, −10.1 to 3.4). There was no significant difference between the conclusion and no conclusion groups in the example with clear findings (conclusions, 63.3 %; no conclusions, 60.5 %; 2.8 %; −3.9 to 9.5), but there was a significant difference in the example with uncertain findings (44.7 %; 37.3 %; 7.3 %; 0.6 to 14.1, p = 0.03). PLS without conclusions in the uncertain finding review had the lowest proportion of correct responses (32.5 %). Prior knowledge and belief predicted student response to the clear finding review, while years of midwifery education predicted response to the uncertain finding review.ConclusionsAbstracts with and without conclusions generated similar student responses. PLS with conclusions gave similar results to abstracts with and without conclusions. Removing the conclusions from a PLS with uncertain findings led to more problems with interpretation.
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33 schema:keywords AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS
34 Abstract
35 Cochrane review
36 Cochrane systematic review
37 Conclusion Groups
38 Findings Examples
39 Ireland
40 Language Summary
41 PL group
42 Plain Language Summary
43 ResultsThere
44 UK
45 University
46 absence
47 aid
48 appropriate statements
49 beliefs
50 brief
51 clear findings
52 conclusion
53 contact
54 correct responses
55 differences
56 different elements
57 education
58 elements
59 evidence
60 example
61 expert panel
62 factorial trial
63 finding review
64 findings
65 format
66 good aid
67 group
68 impact
69 inclusion
70 interaction
71 interpretation
72 knowledge
73 lower proportion
74 main findings
75 midwifery education
76 midwifery students
77 midwives
78 more problems
79 outcomes
80 panel
81 point
82 point of contact
83 presence
84 primary outcome
85 prior knowledge
86 problem
87 proportion
88 proportion of students
89 readers
90 response
91 results
92 review
93 significant differences
94 similar results
95 statements
96 student midwives
97 student responses
98 students
99 summary
100 summary format
101 systematic review
102 trials
103 types
104 types of summaries
105 uncertain findings
106 years
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