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in response to this, but systematic reviews (SR) of evidence (and consequently clinical practice guidelines) go out of date quickly posing a serious risk of inaccuracy, particularly in dynamic fields of health research such as early childhood allergy prevention (ECAP).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.

Living Systematic Review (LSR) of interventions to improve health literacy during the COVID-19 pandemic (HELICAP WP Living Systematic Review COVID-19)

The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented crisis in history. It is characterised by a rapidly emerging and changing evidence landscape. During the pandemic, human beings have been faced with a wealth of complex information that is subject to persistent change.

As a consequence, the ability to find, understand, critically evaluate and apply COVID-19 pandemic-related information has become increasingly important. The Living Systematic Review (LSR) methodology allows to continuously synthesising the available evidence obtained from intervention studies to improve health literacy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Study objectives:

The aim of this project is to conduct a systematic review (SR) of interventions aimed at increasing COVID-19 related health literacy (Baseline SR). Due to the rapidly changing evidence landscape, the baseline SR will then be transformed into a living systematic review (LSR).


The specific objectives of the WP2 LSR COVID-19 are:

  1. To identify all interventions that intend to improve COVID-19 related health literacy.
  2. To summarise the evidence regarding the effects of these interventions.
  3. To judge the quality of the evidence.
  4. To provide a corresponding plain language summary (PLS) accessible for the public.
  5. To develop a workflow for an LSR, which ensures that the evidence synthesis is regularly updated.


This sub-project of WP 2 „Living Systematic Review“ will provide an up-to-date source for information regarding COVID-19 related evidence. While the original WP 2 focuses on the evidence synthesis of ECAP measures, the objective of WP 2 LSR COVID-19 is to synthesise evidence of interventions aiming to improve COVID-19 related health literacy.