HEDS is part of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield. We undertake research, teaching, training and consultancy on all aspects of health related decision science, with a particular emphasis on health economics, HTA and evidence synthesis.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Applying GRADE-CERQual to qualitative evidence synthesis findings - A new series of papers

ScHARR has contributed to a series of papers published in "Implementation Science" which provides guidance on how to apply the GRADE-CERQual approach. CERQual helps assess how much confidence to place in findings from qualitative evidence syntheses.
Findings from syntheses of qualitative research can help provide evidence on people’s views of health and social care issues. This includes whether interventions are acceptable to the people affected by them, about the feasibility of interventions, and about a range of other factors that are likely to influence implementation. Such syntheses are being used increasingly to inform decisions about health and social policies. The GRADE-CERQual (‘Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research’) approach helps decision makers use these syntheses by indicating how much confidence they should place in each finding.
Image of CERQual group
CERQual group
Co-author Andrew Booth, from HEDS said: “This series provides timely guidance for CERQual users on how to apply the approach. CERQual is already offering decision makers across the world a way to understand how much confidence to place in findings from systematic reviews of qualitative evidence. This can be seen within a bigger picture of increased use of qualitative evidence at a national and international level.”

CERQual has been developed by an international team of qualitative researchers, as a subgroup of the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) Working Group (www.gradeworkinggroup.org), with funding from the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, Cochrane, Norad, the Research Council of Norway and WHO. Co-author Claire Glenton notes: “We encourage those keen to support the further development of CERQual to join our subgroup via our website (www.cerqual.org).”
The GRADE-CERQual papers are freely available on the Implementation Science website at