Judgments about evidence and recommendations in health care are complex. Systematic reviews of the effects of health care provide essential but not sufficient information for making well-informed decisions.
Methods for systematically reviewing the results of multiple quantitative and qualitative primary research studies are an emerging area of research within the health sciences. However, as with evidence of effectiveness, decision makers need tools for assessing how much confidence they can place in findings from systematic reviews of evidence. A systematic approach to grading the strength of management recommendations can minimize bias and aid interpretation of expert-created medical guidelines. Indeed, most guideline groups have accepted the necessity for some sort of grading scheme. The AUA and the U.S. GRADE Network aim to provide training to physician leaders to improve their ability to interpret CER and other medical literature, thus improving the care they provide to all patients, especially those from vulnerable and underserved populations.