Developing an Evidence-Based Framework for Grading and Assessment of Predictive Tools for Clinical Decision Support

by   Mohamed Khalifa, et al.

Background: Clinical predictive tools quantify contributions of relevant patient characteristics to derive likelihood of diseases or predict clinical outcomes. When selecting a predictive tool, for implementation at clinical practice or for recommendation in clinical guidelines, clinicians are challenged with an overwhelming and ever growing number of tools, most of which have never been implemented or assessed for comparative effectiveness. Objective: To develop a comprehensive framework to Grade and Assess Predictive tools (GRASP), and provide clinicians with a standardised, evidence based system to support their search for and selection of effective tools. Methods: A focused review of literature was conducted to extract criteria along which tools should be evaluated. An initial framework was designed and applied to assess and grade five tools: LACE Index, Centor Score, Wells Criteria, Modified Early Warning Score, and Ottawa knee rule. After peer review, by expert clinicians and healthcare researchers, the framework was revised and the grading of the tools was updated. Results: GRASP framework grades predictive tools based on published evidence across three dimensions: 1) Phase of evaluation; 2) Level of evidence; and 3) Direction of evidence. The final grade of a tool is based on the highest phase of evaluation, supported by the highest level of positive evidence, or mixed evidence that supports positive conclusion. Discussion and Conclusion: the GRASP framework builds on well established models and widely accepted concepts to provide standardised assessment and evidence based grading of predictive tools. Unlike other methods, GRASP is based on the critical appraisal of published evidence reporting the predictive tools predictive performance before implementation, potential effect and usability during implementation, and their post implementation impact.



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