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Quality appraisal of evidence generated during a crisis: in defence of ‘timeliness’ and ‘clarity’ as criteria
  1. G James Rubin,
  2. Simon Wessely,
  3. Neil Greenberg,
  4. Samantha K Brooks
  1. Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor G James Rubin, King's College London, London WC2R 2LS, UK; gideon.rubin{at}

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In 2020, SARS-CoV-2 spread across the globe with incredible speed. Policymakers had to make impossible decisions and act quickly. With gold-standard systematic reviews taking 6 months–2 years to complete,1 it is no surprise that many authors used rapid review methods instead in order to provide guidance in a matter of days or weeks. In their review, Abbott et al graded the quality of 280 reviews published in the first 5 months of the pandemic and found 46 that were rapid reviews.2 This included our paper3: ‘The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review …

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  • Contributors GJR composed the first draft of the letter, after discussions with SW, NG and SKB. All authors reviewed the final document and agreed with its submission.

  • Funding This work was supported by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Emergency Preparedness and Response, a partnership between Public Health England, King’s College London and the University of East Anglia (grant number NIHR200890).

  • Disclaimer The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR, Public Health England or the Department of Health and Social Care.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.