Kelly, Shannon E., David Moher, & Tammy J. Clifford (2016, October 6). Expediting evidence synthesis for healthcare decision-making: Exploring attitudes and perceptions towards rapid reviews using Q methodology. Peer J, 4 (e2522) (DOI: 10.7717/peerj.2522). (Accessible:


Background: Rapid reviews expedite the knowledge synthesis process with the goal of providing timely information to healthcare decision-makers who want to use evidence-informed policy and practice approaches. A range of opinions and viewpoints on rapid reviews is thought to exist; however, no research to date has formally captured these views. This paper aims to explore evidence producer and knowledge user attitudes and perceptions towards rapid reviews.

Methods: A Q methodology study was conducted to identify central viewpoints about rapid reviews based on a broad topic discourse. Participants rank-ordered 50 text statements and explained their Q-sort in free-text comments. Individual Q-sorts were analysed using Q-Assessor (statistical method: factor analysis with varimax rotation). Factors, or salient viewpoints on rapid reviews, were identified, interpreted and described.

Results: Analysis of the 11 individual Q sorts identified three prominent viewpoints: Factor A cautions against the use of study design labels to make judgements. Factor B maintains that rapid reviews should be the exception and not the rule. Factor C focuses on the practical needs of the end-user over the review process.

Conclusion: Results show that there are opposing viewpoints on rapid reviews, yet some unity exists. The three factors described offer insight into how and why various stakeholders act as they do and what issues may need to be resolved before increase uptake of the evidence from rapid reviews can be realized in healthcare decision-making environments.

David Moher <dmoher> is in the School of Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, University of Ottawa, and the Centre for Practice Changing Research, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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