Skip to main content

Rapid evidence reviews: the CADTH experience

Date and Location




Saturday 21 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Chris Kamel

Contact person

Janice Mann
Abstract text
Background: Constant, rapid, and often expensive advances in medical technologies make evidence-based information essential in healthcare decision-making. While comprehensive systematic reviews are used to support many deliberations, the urgency of some decisions requires a more immediate response. To support these decisions, CADTH offers a range of products through its Rapid Response Service. Objectives: The objective of CADTH’s Rapid Response Service is to provide Canadian healthcare stakeholders with timely, relevant evidence to support informed decision-making. Methods: Rapid Response topics are requested by CADTH customers. Modified review techniques accommodate accelerated evidence synthesis and can be tailored to the decision-makers’ needs. Recently, for more in-depth reviews, a one-page plain language Report-in-Brief is prepared in English and French and posted with the full report on the CADTH website. HTML coding and keywords are assigned to ensure search engine optimization, and further dissemination efforts may be undertaken depending on the topic. Results: The Rapid Response service has continued to evolve. In 2012-13, 233 reports were produced with 65% addressing a question on non-drug health technologies. A variety of report types are available – from reference lists to summaries with critical appraisal – however in recent years more requests for the latter may indicate that these reports represent the ideal balance of rigour and timeliness for decision-makers. Customer evaluations of the reports and the Reports-in-Brief have demonstrated the success of the program. Conclusions: Using rapid review techniques, CADTH ensures our customers have the evidence they need in time to help with their decision-making processes about drugs and health technologies. Through knowledge mobilization techniques we assist our customers to effectively share information with their teams while also broadening the reach of our reports. Improvements to the rapid review methodologies and processes will continue to be made based on our evaluations and advances in the field.