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13.4.2  Guidance and resources available to support review authors

As well as providing information for deciding about eligibility, the questions in Table 13.2.a and Table 13.2.b represent a convenient checklist for collecting relevant data from NRS about study design features. In using this checklist to collect information about the studies and to decide on eligibility, the intention should be to document what researchers did in the primary studies, rather than what researchers called their studies or think they did. Items should be recorded as ‘Yes’, ‘No’ or ‘Can’t tell’. Box 13.4.a provides guidance on using these tables as checklists.


Data collection forms have been developed for use in NRSMG workshops to illustrate data extraction from NRS. These include: the study design checklist, templates for collecting information about confounding factors, their comparability at baseline, methods used to adjust for confounding, and effect estimates. These resources (available from the Handbook resource web site, can be used as a guide to the types of data collection forms that review authors will need. However, review authors will need to customize the forms carefully for the review question being studied.