Table 1

Overview of included national projects

CharacteristicsGP projectHP project
Full titleIrish COVID-19 Evidence for General PractitionersCOVID-19 Evidence Synthesis Team
New or existing teamNew team, established April 2020, comprised largely of staff from universities or the ICGP who volunteered their timeExisting team, employees of the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and a related Health Research Board funded project were redeployed to the COVID-19 Evidence Synthesis Team full time.
Organisations involved
  • ICGP

  • the Association of University Departments of General Practice in Ireland (AUDGPI)

  • the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network in Ireland (PCCTNI)

  • The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), HTA Directorate

  • Department of General Practice, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)

Predominant rapid evidence productsRapid response (evaluate the literature to present the end-user with an answer based on the best available evidence16Rapid review (perform a synthesis to provide the end user with a conclusive answer about the direction of evidence and possibly strength of the evidence.16
These followed a standardised protocol developed a priori,39 in line with Cochrane rapid review methodology guidance.40
Abbreviated steps included: limiting the scope, limiting database searching, single screening of title and abstracts and generally not conducting meta-analysis
  • GP, General Practice; HP, Health Policy; ICGP, Irish College of General Practitioners.