Living Systematic Review

The evidence for interventions in early childhood allergy prevention - a living systematic review

Non-reproducible and conflicting health research findings entail the risk that health professionals and the public are left confused. The science of evidence synthesis has been developed in response to this, but systematic reviews (SR) of evidence (and consequently clinical practice guidelines) go out of date quickly posing a serious risk of inaccuracy, particularly in dynamic fields of health research such as early childhood allergy prevention (ECAP). There are presumably gaps between what we know, from the best available evidence, and what happens in healthcare practice in the field of ECAP. Living systematic reviews (LSR) have been suggested as an emerging opportunity to narrow the evidence-practice gap by keeping SRs continuously up to date.

Study objectives

The aim of this project is to establish an LSR on interventions to prevent the occurrence of allergies and allergic diseases in early childhood (0-3 years). The project's subgoals are:

  1. to identify individual-level (e.g. early introduction of allergenic foods) and community-level (e.g. programs promoting environmental diversity in early life) interventions that have been investigated to prevent allergy in early childhood.
  2. to summarize the evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of these interventions,
  3. to judge the quality of the available evidence,
  4. to provide corresponding plain language summaries (PLS) accessible for consumers and
  5. to develop a workflow for an LSR.

This project will provide a comprehensive and up-to-date source for information regarding evidence for ECAP. It has a strong connection to " Conflict of Interest" allowing for a comparative analysis of studies included in the living systematic review and guidelines. It is also linked to " Health Professionals" , as this project will examine how the scientific evidence base is translated by health professionals.