Deliverable 2.5 – Protocol development: Clearing the fog in the forest

By: Dr. Fiona Ling
Short Term Scientific Co-ordinator
Northumbria University

The core group of Deliverable 2.5 kick-started our work on 24th June, 2021, with the support of 2 successful STSM (Short Term Scientific Mission) applicants, Dr Kwok Ng (University of Eastern Finland/University of Limerick) and Dr Esther Garcia Sanchez (Fundación para la Formación e Investigación Sanitarias de las Región de Murcia).

The aim of this week-long meeting was to define and agree on the criteria for Best Evidence in physical activity and sedentary behaviour research, focussing on children/adolescents initially. Our discussion will form the basis for the series of systematic reviews/meta-analyses we aim to conduct. And what a week it was! So many intense discussions, from what we consider as best evidence to search strategies to risk of bias assessments, and the list just goes on. We were also grateful for the guidance on search strategies provided by the Northumbria University Library Skill Development Team.  From these discussions, we have all advanced our knowledge on the systematic review process and crucially, physical activity/sedentary behaviour research evaluation. We all declared that our brains were properly fried by the end of each day, but, how rewarding this experience had been for all involved.

The ECIs and those who had not been involved in project of this scale have also experienced first-hand how consensus was reached through knowledge exchange amongst members with diverse research interests and experience. By the end of the 7 days, there are still questions left unanswered (typical – what research is about!), but D2.5 protocol is certainly taking shape. It’s now a case of clearing the fog in the forest (to extend Caterina Pesce’s metaphor in her magnificent work on best evidence synthesis – see DE-PASS youtube video 1 and video 2).

Watch this space!

Dr. Fiona Ling: STSM Coordinator

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