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Keywords:

  • Evidence-based medicine;
  • GRADE;
  • randomized controlled trial;
  • systematic review

Abstract

Objective

Grading of recommendations, assessment, development, and evaluations (GRADE) is arguably the most widely used method for appraising studies to be included in systematic reviews and guidelines. In order to use the GRADE system or know how to interpret it when reading reviews, reading several articles and attending a workshop are required. Moreover, the GRADE system is not covered in standard medical textbooks. Here, we explain GRADE concisely with the use of examples so that students and other researchers can understand it.

Background

In order to use or interpret the GRADE system, reading several articles and attending a workshop is currently required. Moreover, the GRADE system is not covered in standard medical textbooks.

Methods

We read, synthesized, and digested the GRADE publications and contacted GRADE contributors for explanations where required. We composed a digested version of the system in a concise way a general medical audience could understand.

Results

We were able to explain the GRADE basics clearly and completely in under 1500 words.

Conclusions

While advanced critical appraisal requires judgment, training, and practice, it is possible for a non-specialist to grasp GRADE basics very quickly.