Workshop: Combining Different Types of Evidence on Effectiveness, Implementation, and Views to Better Understand Complex Interventions

Audience: Producers
Level: Intermediate

What you’ll learn: Workshop participants will: 1) articulate the differences between traditional effectiveness reviews and mixed methods research syntheses (MMRS); 2) identify when an MMRS would be appropriate; 3) demonstrate an understanding of the different stages of MMRS.

  • Dr. Quan Nha Hong, Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) and Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre)
  • Dr. Ginny Brunton, Ontario Tech University


Objectives: The aim of this workshop is to introduce health technology assessment producers to a type of literature review that combines different types of evidence on effectiveness, implementation, and people’s perspectives, often named mixed methods research syntheses (MMRS). After this workshop, the participants will:

  • understand how and why MMRS can contribute to evidence-informed decision-making
  • know the steps to conduct MMRS
  • know the strategies for integrating and synthesizing different types of evidence.

Description: Decision-makers often face complex issues that cannot be fully addressed using only 1 type of evidence. In several areas including public health, mental health, rehabilitation, and social care, interventions are often complex (include several components and involve various players). Several synthesis methods have been developed to address complex interventions. Also, several methods have integrated different types of evidence to address complementary questions such as, does an intervention work; why or why not? How does it work and for whom, and in what context? Combining different types of evidence can be particularly useful to provide more complete, meaningful, practical, and useful recommendations to patients, clinicians, decision- and policy-makers, and researchers. For example, the synthesis of people’s perspective can complete findings from effectiveness studies by providing better understanding of the impact of contextual factors and identifying the outcomes that are important for patients. In this workshop, concrete examples of reviews combining different types of evidence will be presented with structured learning activities. The content will include: definition of MMRS, benefits, steps, synthesis designs and methods, challenges, and available resources.