GRADE Public Health: Extending GRADE guideline methodology to address population health interventions and public policy

Blurry photo of a meeting

The GRADE Working Group is an international collaboration which has developed a body of guidance and methods to support the translation of research evidence into recommendations for practice. GRADE’s transparent and rigorous methodology has been adopted globally as the standard for guideline development. GRADE is used by the WHO and over 100 other organisations in 19 countries.

GRADE have approved the formation of a new project group, led by Vittal Katikireddi and Hilary Thomson, to develop new conceptual approaches and produce new guidance to address some of the challenges guideline developers have experienced in grading the quality or certainty of evidence and strength of recommendations in the area of population health and public policy. The work will build on existing GRADE guidance on complex interventions, equity, and use of non-randomised studies. To avoid overlap with other GRADE project groups we will focus on interventions that impact whole populations, such as regulation of unhealthy commodities, provision of new infrastructure, and health system reforms.

 The objectives of the project are to:

  • Form a network of public health guideline developers to explore potential solutions to challenges in applying GRADE guidance
  • Conduct a scoping review of the use of GRADE in public health guidelines and, together with the network, identify common approaches and examples of best practice
  • Develop GRADE guidance for public health with a particular focus on identifying relevant decision-making perspectives, prioritising and synthesising diverse outcomes, and addressing implications of ‘weak’ recommendations
  • Disseminate the GRADE public health guidance through peer-reviewed publications, a chapter in the GRADE handbook, conferences, and workshops.
MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit logo 800 wide