Evidence Review

Puzzle Pieces

The foundation of all guidance and curriculum materials is thorough evaluation and synthesis of the existing evidence in the three topic areas. Experts drawn from the PreVAiL Research Network served as members of the three Evidence Review Groups.

Evidence Review Methods and Process

The WHO Guideline Development Process was used by each Evidence Review Group. Methods consultants with expertise in conducting systematic reviews and use of the GRADE method, including those from the McMaster Evidence Review and Synthesis Centre (MERSC), and McMaster GRADE (MacGrade) provided input on review methodology; external reviewers ensured validity of the findings. Briefly, the steps were:

  1. Scope the review: developed the guiding questions and inclusion/exclusion criteria;
  2. Identify the evidence: conducted comprehensive searches for all available evidence and retrieved all studies that met inclusion criteria; identified existing and relevant guidelines and systematic reviews and assessed these using established instruments;
  3. Evaluate the evidence: assessed the quality of individual studies that met inclusion criteria;
  4. Develop recommendations: adapted the GRADE method to synthesize the evidence, and assessed the direction and strength of recommended actions.

A key part of this process was to integrate the feedback from consultations and environmental scans, and especially input from the National Guidance and Implementation Committee (NGIC). We also reviewed other sources of information, such as qualitative and mixed methods research on people’s experiences of violence and of health and social services. These feasibility and plausibility considerations were applied to the evidence-based recommendations in order to create the VEGA guidance.

Review Groups


Oversight & Cross Topic Synthesis Committee

H. MacMillan, N. Wathen, D. Stewart


Child Maltreatment Review Group (completed 2018)

(this review was conducted in collaboration with the World Health Organization Guideline Review Groups on child maltreatment and child sexual abuse)

Lead/Liaison: H. MacMillan
Chair: J. Barlow
Membership: T. Afifi, J. Fluke; F. Gardner; A. Gonzalez; C. Mikton; P. Scribano; H. Taussig; L. Tonmyr; C. Waddell; C. Wekerle
Staff lead: Jill McTavish/C. McKee


IPV Review Group (completed 2017)

Lead/Liaison: N. Wathen/D. Stewart
Chair: M. Ford-Gilboe
Membership: P. Barata; P. Chandra; S. Oram; C. Garcia-Moreno; K. Hegarty; C. Varcoe; S. Vigod
Staff lead: J. MacGregor


Child Exposure to IPV Review Group (completed 2016)

Lead/Liaison: N. Wathen
Chair: S. Jack
Membership: M. Chartier; E. Howarth; K. Georgiades; A. Gonzalez; A. Guedes; A.M. Pietrantonio
Staff lead: J. MacGregor/M. Gauld


Methods Consultants

M. Boyle, G. Feder, C. Garcia-Moreno, K. Georgiades, N. Santesso, D. Sherifali