Skip to main content


Development of user-friendly summaries for published systematic reviews and meta-analyses in agri-food public health

Date and Location




Monday 23 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Ashley Kerr

Contact person

Ashley Kerr
Abstract text
Background: The application of systematic reviews (SRs) is increasing to address agri-food public health topics (e.g. food safety). In order to increase the uptake of SR evidence to inform decision-making in this sector, there is a need to develop user-friendly formats for disseminating this information that are more relevant to end-users. Objectives: We developed a framework for summarizing SR evidence into user-friendly one- and three-page summaries and applied the framework on two SR examples that investigated two different interventions (vaccination and feed and water additives) to reduce Salmonella spp. colonization in broiler chickens on farms. The summaries included the SR evidence about intervention efficacy, as well as supporting contextual information from additional sources. Methods: We pre-selected five relevant categories of contextual information (efficacy, cost, availability, practicality, and public sensitivities/concerns), and data for each category was obtained using an environmental scan approach consisting of the following steps: 1) targeted grey literature searches; 2) scientific literature searches; and, 3) interviews with 12 topic experts. Results: For the vaccination intervention, 8/26 (30.8) and 4/76 (5.3%) relevant articles identified in the grey and peer-reviewed literature searches, respectively, were used to develop the three-page summary. In the feed and water additives summary, 14/30 (46.7 %) and 3/20 (15%) relevant articles were used from the grey and peer-reviewed literature sources, respectively. On average, approximately 6-8 hours, 4-5 hours and 1-1.5 hours were needed to obtain relevant information from grey literature, peer-reviewed literature and topic experts, respectively, per contextual category. Conclusions: The overall utility of the literature searches and expert interviews depended on the specific intervention topic and contextual category. In general, interviews with industry experts were the most useful and rapid method; however, the literature searches were also useful to highlight key knowledge gaps to be investigated further by the topic experts.