Table title and header

The title of each ‘Summary of findings’ table should specify the clinical question, framed in terms of the population and making it clear exactly what comparison of interventions is being made.  In Figure 11.5.a, the population is people taking very long plane flights, the intervention is compression stockings, and the control is no compression stockings.


The first rows of each ‘Summary of findings’ table should provide the following ‘header’ information:

Patients or population: This further clarifies the population (and possibly the sub-populations) of interest and ideally the magnitude of risk of the most crucial adverse outcome at which treatment is directed.  For instance: patients on a long haul flight may be at different risks for DVT; or patients using SSRIs might be at different risk for side effects; or patients with atrial fibrillation may be at low (< 1%), moderate (1% to 4%) or high (> 4%) yearly risk of stroke.

Setting: This should specify any specific characteristics of the settings in which the studies were carried out that might limit the applicability of the summary of findings to other settings; e.g. primary care in Europe and North America.

Intervention: The experimental intervention.

Comparison: The control (comparison) intervention (including no specific treatment).