Evidence Synthesis: Evolving Methodologies to Optimise Patient Care and Enhance Policy Decisions

  • Hutan Ashrafian
  • Ara Darzi
  • Thanos Athanasiou


Evidence synthesis is a term applied to a group of assessment techniques that integrate the data from variable evidence sources. These techniques are used to provide best evidence in healthcare. Evidence synthesis has several advantages when compared to single studies and traditional data integration through meta-analysis. The complexities of combining heterogeneous data sources such as the amalgamation of both qualitative and quantitative data sources can be successfully overcome by applying these techniques. Evidence synthesis can summarise data by classifying each individual source according to its quality whilst it can also quantify the degree of uncertainty in synthesis results. In this chapter, we discuss current evidence synthesis methods and consider their application for medical practitioners, scientists and policymakers. We identify the future trends and increased importance of utilising evidence synthesis for evidence-based medicine. The versatility of evidence synthesis renders it a powerful tool in attaining the ultimate goal of improved health outcomes, innovation and enhanced quality of patient care.


Narrative Review Evidence Synthesis Qualitative Comparative Analysis Narrative Synthesis Knowledge Type 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer London 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery and CancerImperial College LondonLondonUK

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