Methods Guide for Effectiveness and Comparative Effectiveness Reviews 

Effectiveness and Comparative Effectiveness Reviews are systematic reviews of current studies investigating the efficacy, comparative effectiveness, and comparative harms of various healthcare therapies. They provide relevant evidence to help patients, clinicians, healthcare systems, and policymakers make real-world healthcare decisions. For example, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ, the Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs) and ), the Scientific Resource Center worked together to create a Methods Guide for Comparative Effectiveness Reviews to improve the transparency, consistency, and scientific rigour of the work of the Effective Health Care (EHC) Program. EPC reports are completed in line with a stated policy on financial and nonfinancial interests, in addition to adhering to the methodologies provided in the Methods Guide. These publications are intended to be a resource for the EPCs and other investigators interested in doing Comparative Effectiveness Reviews.

As new empirical data emerges and our understanding of techniques improves, changes are made, and new chapters are added, making this Methods Guide a dynamic publication. In addition, Pubrica responds to your comments and ideas on the Methods Guide for Comparative Effectiveness Reviews and the Effective Health Care Program.

AHRQ has created training courses to acquaint new investigators with the methodological framework and recommendations described in AHRQ's Methods Guide for Effectiveness and Comparative Effectiveness Reviews. The AHRQ Training Modules for the Systematic Reviews Methodologies Guide are a set of 14 slide presentations that instructors can use to educate investigators and clinicians about systematic review methods.

Systematic reviews of medical testing provide unique difficulties. For example, the EPC Program has created a Methods Guide for Medical Test Reviews to supplement the EPC Methods Guide for Comparative Effectiveness Reviews. This series of guide papers apply the same ideas for reviewing treatments to the concerns and challenges of assessing medical tests, highlighting areas where the inherent differences in medical test characteristics need a distinct approach to a systematic review(1).

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality launched the Effective Health Care (EHC) Program in 2005. The EHC Program seeks to offer patients, physicians, and policymakers information that is both intelligible and actionable. Evidence-based Practice Centers are a vital component of the EHC Program. Three critical elements influence the EHC Program and, as a result, the EPC Program's Comparative Effectiveness Reviews. In addition to the everyday concerns presented in a systematic review or meta-analysis of a single intervention, Comparative Effectiveness Reviews offer numerous new challenges. For example, Pubrica's team of researchers and authors create scientific and medical research articles that can serve as a valuable resource for practitioners and authors.