Table 3

Illustrative example of how the summary of findings can be presented to guideline developers

OutcomeEffectNumber of participants
Certainty in the evidence*
Respiratory symptoms
Assessed using a variety of scales
Most studies showed small reductions in symptoms or no effect.623
(5 randomised trials)
(due to serious risk of bias and imprecision)
  • The outcome of interest is respiratory symptoms (for which a single pooled effect estimate was not available and only a narrative synthesis of the evidence was provided).

  • *Commonly used symbols to describe certainty in evidence in evidence profiles: high certainty ⊕⊕⊕⊕, moderate certainty ⊕⊕⊕O, low certainty ⊕⊕OO and very low certainty ⊕OOO.

  • †Serious risk of bias across studies because of unclear or inadequate blinding, sequence generation and allocation concealment.

  • ‡Serious imprecision and inconsistency were considered together as there were small effects, or ‘no effects’ reported in studies (likely due to wide CIs).