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The communication assessment checklist in health (CATCH): moving forward with research on the usability of health information resources

Date and Location




Sunday 22 September 2013 - 15:30 - 17:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Anik Giguere

Contact person

Anik Giguere
Abstract text
Background: There is little guidance for developers of evidence summaries, such as guidelines and systematic reviews, on communication strategies (e.g. terminology, format, length, layout) to increase their usability. In a recent update of a Cochrane systematic review on the impact of printed educational resources on professional practice, we concluded that it was paramount to understand which characteristics of summaries influenced their effectiveness. In the present project, we thus aim to find and appraise short summary-level EB information resources available online for clinicians, to identify critical knowledge gaps to improve their usability. Methods: We searched for short, summary-level EB information resources available for clinicians on the Internet with Google (e.g. keywords: “clinical tool”, “clinical practice guidelines”, summary, quick-reference, “quick summary”, “practice tool”). We also asked researchers and clinicians in our networks if they were aware of any additional summaries. We included summaries that: answered a clinical question relating to the management of a single health problem; comprised more than one in-text citation; were printable, without interactive buttons of drop-down menus; were three pages or less when printed on Letter paper size; were written in English; and were freely available. Two reviewers independently screened the retrieved information resources for inclusion. Any disagreement was resolved by discussion among reviewers and an arbiter. A standardized form served to extract the summaries' characteristics. Two reviewers independently rated quality of the summaries using an 11-point quality assessment scale, and described health communication strategies used in the summaries using the CATCH (Communication AssessmenT Checklist in Health). Implications: This project will lead to the creation of an online repository of short evidence summaries for clinicians, and provide a basis for submitting proposals for projects to advance this field.