EAL Terminology

The following terms are used throughout the EAL:

Conclusion Statement 
A concise statement of the collective research on a given evidence analysis question.

Data Extraction Tool (DET)
A highly structured tool designed to extract data to carry out a more rigorous and in-depth synthesis. This tool is used in new EAL projects and replaces the Worksheet template.

Evidence Analysis Question 
Generally formulated using the PICO approach (Population; Intervention; Comparison; Outcome), practice questions reflect the everyday practice dilemmas faced by dietitians.

Evidence-Based Dietetics Practice  
Involves the process of asking questions, systematically finding research evience, and assessing its validity, applicability and importance to food and nutrition practice decisions; and includes applying relevant evidence in the context of the practice situation and the values of clients, customers and communities to achieve positive outcomes.

Evidence Strength/Grade
The strength of the evidence for the conclusion statement. The EAL uses 1-Good; II-Fair; III-Limited; IV-Expert Opinion; V-Not Assignable. Click for grade descriptions.

Evidence Summary
A systematic, scientifically rigorous approach to summarizing knowledge across a number of research studies, so that the variations in studies and contradictory study results can be understood within a single conclusion; it provides a status of the science conclusion. Typically includes the type of study, population studies, number of subjects,methods used, main findings and study limitations.

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria
Criteria used in defining the search strategy for filtering the identified research reports. The EAL uses only peer-reviewed research (articles published in a juried publication). The exclusion criteria includes the reason for exclusion.

Overview Table
Table of summarizing results from the research articles used to answer an evidence analysis question. It allows the user to assess the most important findings. Table headings include factors that the work group or the research indicates are important considerations when comparing and synthesizing the research findings.

Quality Criteria Checklists
Checklists of questions to help determine the relevance and validity of primary and review articles. Click to view.

Search Plan Strategy
Plan for identification and inclusion of articles and reports which include specific terms. Both word search and keyword search using MeSH definitions are used. Plan includes the databases to search like PubMed, Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane, DARE, ERIC, and AHRQ, 

Study Design Table
A table that indicates which questions from the quality criteria checklists are most relevant for different study designs. Click to view.

Systematic Reviews 
A state-of-the-art method for evaluating scientific evidence to answer a precise question or series of questions; conducted by a multi-disciplinary team of scientific experts based on a predefined approach and criteria. Meticulous methods and electronic tools are used to describe and document each step to ensure objectivity,  transparency, and reproducibility of the process.

Worksheet
A template used to collect details from the research articles used by the workgroup to determine the evidence summary and conclusion. Click to view.
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