Assimilating evidence quality at a glance using graphic display: research synthesis on labor induction
Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 08/03/2012
Fox C.E et al. – Evidence profiled in the World Health Organization induction of labor guideline extended to 84 tables and 116 pages, which is hard to assimilate. Summarizing this evidence graphically can present information on key outcomes succinctly, illustrating where the gaps, strengths and weaknesses lie. For induction of labor, graphic representation clearly showed that evidence was lacking on maternal complications when comparing oxytocin with other agents, evidence was strong on birth within 24 h when comparing vaginal prostaglandins with placebo or no treatment, but again it was weak on uterine hyperstimulation when comparing oxytocin with vaginal prostaglandins. These graphs/plots allow readers to capture the essence of the information gathered at a glance. The use of graphical displays when interpreting and publishing data on several comparisons and outcomes is encouraged.