Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Evidence-based decision-making in infectious diseases epidemiology, prevention and control: matching research questions to study designs and quality appraisal tools
Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany.
Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany.
University of Munich, Germany .
Health Protection Scotland (HPS) and the Scottish Health Protection Network (HPN), Glasgow, UK.
Show others and affiliations
2014 (English)In: BMC Medical Research Methodology, ISSN 1471-2288, Vol. 14, no 69Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


The Project on a Framework for Rating Evidence in Public Health (PRECEPT) was initiated and is being funded by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to define a methodology for evaluating and grading evidence and strength of recommendations in the field of public health, with emphasis on infectious disease epidemiology, prevention and control. One of the first steps was to review existing quality appraisal tools (QATs) for individual research studies of various designs relevant to this area, using a question-based approach.


Through team discussions and expert consultations, we identified 20 relevant types of public health questions, which were grouped into six domains, i.e. characteristics of the pathogen, burden of disease, diagnosis, risk factors, intervention, and implementation of intervention. Previously published systematic reviews were used and supplemented by expert consultation to identify suitable QATs. Finally, a matrix was constructed for matching questions to study designs suitable to address them and respective QATs. Key features of each of the included QATs were then analyzed, in particular in respect to its intended use, types of questions and answers, presence/absence of a quality score, and if a validation was performed.


In total we identified 21 QATs and 26 study designs, and matched them. Four QATs were suitable for experimental quantitative study designs, eleven for observational quantitative studies, two for qualitative studies, three for economic studies, one for diagnostic test accuracy studies, and one for animal studies. Included QATs consisted of six to 28 items. Six of the QATs had a summary quality score. Fourteen QATs had undergone at least one validation procedure.


The results of this methodological study can be used as an inventory of potentially relevant questions, appropriate study designs and QATs for researchers and authorities engaged with evidence-based decision-making in infectious disease epidemiology, prevention and control.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2014. Vol. 14, no 69
Keyword [en]
Evidence-based public health; Quality appraisal tools; Risk of bias; Study designs; Infectious disease prevention and control
National Category
Other Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-109286DOI: 10.1186/1471-2288-14-69ISI: 000338303000001PubMedID: 24886571OAI: diva2:737057
Available from: 2014-08-11 Created: 2014-08-11 Last updated: 2014-11-28Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(462 kB)230 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 462 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Zuiderent-Jerak, Teun
By organisation
Technology and Social ChangeFaculty of Arts and Sciences
In the same journal
BMC Medical Research Methodology
Other Social Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 230 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 83 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link