Table 2

Best evidence synthesis algorithm/algorithm for messages18 27

Level of evidenceMinimum qualityMinimum quantityConsistencyStrength of message
StrongHigh* (H)33H agree; if 3+ studies, ≥3/4 of the M and H agreeRecommendations
ModerateMedium† (M)2H or 2M and 1H2H agree or 2M and 1H agree; if 3+ studies, ≥2/3 of the M and H agreePractice considerations
Limited1H or 2M or 1M and 1H2 (M and/or H) agree; if 2 studies, >1/2 of the M and H agreeNot enough evidence to make recommendations or practice considerations
Mixed2Findings are contradictory
InsufficientMedium quality studies that do not meet above criteria
  • *High (H) quality study ≥85% in quality appraisal

  •  †Medium (M) quality study=50%–84% in quality appraisal.