Virtual mobility in gathering evidence for the Best Evidence Statement, including disabilities – Dr. Kwok Ng, Finland.
There have been recent calls in the Lancet, BSJM, and JPAH for scientific approaches to include physical activity data on persons with disabilities. As one of the deliverables for the DE-PASS cost action CA19101 is to produce a Best Evidence Statement (BESt), this was a great opportunity to to work with the core group of researchers for deliverable 2.5, to extend the work, and not exclude, determinants for physical activity and sedentary behaviours for persons living with disabilities.
Despite global travel restrictions, the virtual networking tools from the COST action enabled the core team to meet during intensive weeks of work to improve the search strategy, to write up the search protocol, registration and to work with some of the tools used for the screening of papers. There was much debate about how papers would be included in the search and what types of studies would be good enough to be considered under the BESt evidence statement (as a planned outcome from the review).
I took on the lead responsibility of the disability data and ran a 90-minute workshop for individuals who would work with the core team to carry out the screening of papers. Meetings were held remotely and there were practical activities for all of the core group to work together on. I also worked closely with Dr Ratko Peric who was interested to deputy-lead the disability searches, particularly when there would be two main types of evidence; randomised control trials and non-randomised control trials. The virtual networking greatly improved networking between the two researchers and the core team (led by Dr Fiona Ling, Dr Anna Marcuzzi (deputy), Dr Gavin Tempest and Mohammed Khudair, Covidence Manager). After completing the searches from the databases, there were 12983 papers stored into Covidence (screening and data extraction tool), with 29 people carrying out the screening of papers.