Joerg J Meerpohl

Joerg J Meerpohl
University Medical Center Freiburg · Institute for Evidence in Medicine

Professor

About

502
Publications
95,835
Reads
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32,506
Citations
Additional affiliations
November 2018 - present
University Medical Center Freiburg
Position
  • Managing Director
November 2018 - present
Cochrane Germany
Position
  • Managing Director
January 2016 - December 2016
Université Paris Descartes
Position
  • Senior Researcher

Publications

Publications (502)
Article
To make healthcare decisions, patients, clinicians, clinical practice guideline developers, researchers, policy-makers and health system managers need a comprehensive, critical, accessible, actionable and up-to-date synthesis of all available evidence in a given condition. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are a cornerstone of healthcare decisio...
Article
The “one-off” approach of systematic reviews is no longer sustainable; we need to move toward producing “living” evidence syntheses (i.e., comprehensive, based on rigorous methods, and up-to-date). This implies rethinking the evidence synthesis ecosystem, its infrastructure and management. The three distinct production systems — primary research, e...
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Background: Nutrition and physical activity policies have the potential to influence lifestyle patterns and reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases. In the world of health-related guidelines, GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) is the most widely used approach for assessing the certainty of evidence an...
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Objectives: The public, policy makers, and science communities are subject to many false, uninformed, overly optimistic, premature, or simply ridiculous health claims. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its context is a paramount example for such claims. In this article, we describe why expressing the certainty in evidence to sup...
Article
To become user-driven and more useful for decision-making, the current evidence synthesis ecosystem requires significant changes (Paper 1.Future of evidence ecosystem series). Reviewers have access to new sources of data (clinical trial registries, protocols, clinical study reports from regulatory agencies or pharmaceutical companies) for more info...
Article
Background: Vaccines are effective in preventing severe COVID-19, a disease for which few treatments are available and which can lead to disability or death. Widespread vaccination against COVID-19 may help protect those not yet able to get vaccinated. In addition, new and vaccine-resistant mutations of SARS-CoV-2 may be less likely to develop if...
Preprint
Background Clinical practice guidelines are systematically developed statements intended to optimize patient care. However, a gap-less implementation of guideline recommendations requires health care personnel not only to be aware of the recommendations and to support their content, but also to recognize every situation in which they are applicable...
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Background: Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGvHD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, occurring in 6% to 65% of the paediatric recipients. Currently, the therapeutic mainstay for cGvHD is treatment with corticosteroids, frequently combined with other immunosuppressive agents in people wit...
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Public health and social measures (PHSM) have been central to the COVID-19 response. Consequently, there has been much pressure on decision-makers to make evidence-informed decisions and on researchers to synthesize the evidence regarding these measures. This article describes our experiences, responses and lessons learnt regarding key challenges w...
Preprint
Background Various formalisms have been developed to represent clinical practice guideline recommendations in a computer-interpretable way. However, none of the existing formalisms leverage the structured and computable information that emerge from the evidence-based guideline development process. Thus, we here propose a FHIR-based guideline repres...
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Background Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and cohort studies are the most common study design types used to assess the treatment effects of medical interventions. To evaluate the agreement of effect estimates between bodies of evidence (BoE) from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and cohort studies and to identify factors associated with dis...
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Objective: We investigated characteristics of systematic reviews (SRs) assessing measures to prevent COVID-19 by (1) identifying SR registrations in Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO), (2) identifying published SRs in COVID-19 Living Overview of the Evidence (L-OVE) and (3) estimating the proportion of PROSPERO registrations pub...
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Objectives Comprehensive protocols are key for the planning and conduct of randomised clinical trials (RCTs). Evidence of low reporting quality of RCT protocols led to the publication of the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) checklist in 2013. We aimed to examine the quality of reporting of RCT protocols fr...
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(1) Background: Health care workers (HCWs) play a key role in increasing anti-COVID vaccination rates. Fear of potential side effects is one of the main reasons for vaccine hesitancy. We investigated which side effects are of concern to HCWs and how these are associated with vaccine hesitancy. (2) Methods: Data were collected in an online survey in...
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Background: We previously found that 25% of 1,017 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) approved between 2000 and 2003 were discontinued prematurely, and 44% remained unpublished at a median of 12 years follow-up. We aimed to assess a decade later (1) whether rates of completion and publication have increased; (2) the extent to which nonpublished RCTs...
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Objectives To evaluate the development and quality of actionable statements that qualify as good practice statements (GPS) reported in COVID-19 guidelines. Design and setting Systematic review . We searched MEDLINE, MedSci, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), databases of Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluatio...
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An evidence-based approach is considered the gold standard for health decision-making. Sometimes, a guideline panel might judge the certainty that the desirable effects of an intervention clearly outweigh its undesirable effects as high, but the body of supportive evidence is indirect. In such cases, the application of the Grading of Recommendation...
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Only very few Cochrane nutrition reviews include cohort studies (CSs), but most evidence in nutrition research comes from CSs. We aimed to pool bodies of evidence (BoE) from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) derived from Cochrane reviews with matched BoE from CSs. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and MEDLINE were searched for systemat...
Article
Objective There is little empirical evidence of the impact of pooling randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and cohort studies (CSs) on the certainty-of-evidence. To evaluate the hypothetical-scenario of pooling bodies-of-evidence from RCTs with matched bodies-of-evidence from CSs on the certainty-of-evidence. Study design and setting We extracted G...
Article
Objective Our objective was to develop an extension of the widely used GIN-McMaster Guideline Development Checklist and Tool for the integration of quality assurance and improvement (QAI) schemes with guideline development. Study Design and Setting We used a mixed-methods approach incorporating evidence from a systematic review, an expert workshop...
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Purpose Food-derived bioactive peptides may influence important physiological functions. An important example is beta-casomorphins, which are opioid peptides derived from A1 beta-casein in bovine milk and have been associated to be risk factors for non-communicable diseases in humans. A1 and A2 beta-casein are different with respect to the release...
Article
Background: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a major cause of disability and the leading cause of death worldwide. To reduce mortality and morbidity, prevention strategies such as following an optimal diet are crucial. In recent years, low-gluten and gluten-free diets have gained strong popularity in the general population. However, study results...
Article
Objective To identify and describe the use of the GRADE dose-response-gradient domain to upgrade the certainty-of-evidence (CoE) in nutrition systematic-reviews (SRs). Study design and setting We searched for SRs of observational studies of nutrition topics that used GRADE and upgraded the CoE of at least one outcome for a dose-response-gradient,...
Article
Background: Interleukin-1 (IL-1) blocking agents have been used for treating severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), on the premise that their immunomodulatory effect might be beneficial in people with COVID-19. Objectives: To assess the effects of IL-1 blocking agents compared with standard care alone or with placebo on effectiveness and sa...
Article
Introduction: The development process for clinical guidelines is influenced by factors that are relevant to the validity of a guideline but often are not captured sufficiently in the final guideline documents. PANELVIEW is an English-language tool that can be used to explore the guideline development process from the perspective of guideline group...
Article
Background: When the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic began, no uniform treatment and care strategies for critically ill COVID-19 patients were yet available. National and international treatment recommendations were formulated under time pressure, initially on the basis of indirect evidence from the treatment of similar diseases. In this article, we give an o...
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Using the Hartung-Knapp method and 95% prediction intervals (PIs) in random-effects meta-analyses is recommended by experts but rarely applied. Therefore, we aimed to reevaluate statistically significant meta-analyses using the Hartung-Knapp method and 95% PIs. In this methodological study three databases were searched from January 2010 to July 201...
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Today, keeping up with the fast evolving evidence is more challenging than ever for practising physicians. A huge number of studies are published every day, and it is no longer possible to read all the relevant individual studies. Many physicians prefer attending continuing medical education (CME) to reading international scientific publications. C...
Article
Objective Timely publication of clinical trial results is central for evidence-based medicine. In this follow-up study we benchmark the performance of German university medical centers (UMCs) regarding timely dissemination of clinical trial results in recent years. Study Design and Setting : Following the same search and tracking methods used in o...
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Importance Clinical trial registries are important for gaining an overview of ongoing research efforts and for deterring and identifying publication bias and selective outcome reporting. The reliability of the information in trial registries is uncertain. Objective To assess the reliability of information across registries for trials with multiple...
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A considerable proportion of quantitative research remains unpublished once completed. Little research has documented non‐dissemination and dissemination bias in qualitative research. This study aimed to generate evidence on the extent of non‐dissemination in qualitative research. We followed a cohort of qualitative studies presented as conference...
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This is the 24th in the ongoing series of articles describing the GRADE approach for assessing the certainty of a body of evidence in systematic reviews and health technology assessments and how to move from evidence to recommendations in guidelines. Guideline developers and authors of systematic reviews and other evidence syntheses use randomized...
Article
Background Strong opioids can have unintended effects. Clinical studies of strong opioids mainly report physical side effects, psychiatric or opioid use disorders. To date, too little attention has been paid to the psychological effects of opioids to treat patients with chronic noncancer pain (CNCP). This study aims to identify and measure (i) the...
Article
Background: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a life-limiting inherited hemoglobinopathy that results in significant complications and affects quality of life. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is currently the only curative intervention for SCD; however, guidelines are needed to inform how to apply HSCT in clinical practice. Objective: The...
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Background: Careful evaluation of new interventions is essential. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews of RCTs provide the most reliable evidence base in comparative evaluations of treatments and interventions. Observational study designs are found at the lower levels of the classical evidence hierarchy. In light of policy ef...
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Zusammenfassung Hintergrund Das COVID-19-Evidenz-Ökosystem (CEOsys) identifiziert, bewertet und fasst Ergebnisse wissenschaftlicher Studien in Evidenzsynthesen im Kontext von COVID-19 zusammen. Diese Evidenzsynthesen werden genutzt, um konkrete Handlungsempfehlungen abzuleiten und Leitlinien zu erstellen. Zielsetzung Vorbereitung der am besten ge...
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Objective To evaluate the agreement between diet-disease effect estimates of bodies of evidence from randomised controlled trials and those from cohort studies in nutrition research, and to investigate potential factors for disagreement. Design Meta-epidemiological study. Data sources Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Medline. Review...
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Suboptimal diet is recognized as a leading modifiable risk factor for non-communicable diseases. Non-randomized studies (NRSs) with patient relevant outcomes provide many insights into diet–disease relationships. Dietary guidelines are based predominantly on findings from systematic reviews of NRSs—mostly prospective observational studies, despite...
Article
Objectives: To propose a taxonomy and framework that identifies and presents actionable statements in guidelines. Study design and setting: We took an iterative approach reviewing case studies of guidelines produced by the World Health Organization and the American Society of Hematology to develop an initial conceptual framework. We then tested...
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Background Back pain is a widespread health problem that accounts for substantial disability and high costs. The workplace is considered to critically affect the occurrence and persistence of back pain and therefore offers an important opportunity for preventive interventions. Various work-related intervention strategies including both single- and...
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Background: Most patients diagnosed with primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) are older than 60 years. Despite promising treatment options for younger patients, prognosis for the elderly remains poor and efficacy of available treatment options is limited. Materials and methods: We conducted a scoping review to identify and summarize t...
Preprint
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Objective: Timely publication of clinical trial results is central for evidence-based medicine. The performance of university medical centers (UMCs) regarding timely results publication informs the local and national decision makers, patients, and the public about the need to improve trial results dissemination. Study Design and Setting: Following...
Article
Background: Degarelix is a gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist that leads to medical castration used to treat men with advanced or metastatic prostate cancer, or both. It is unclear how its effects compare to standard androgen suppression therapy. Objectives: To assess the effects of degree compared with standard androgen suppression thera...
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Objective To explore factors that potentially impact external validation performance while developing and validating a prognostic model for hospital admissions (HAs) in complex older general practice patients. Study design and setting Using individual participant data from four cluster-randomised trials conducted in the Netherlands and Germany, we...
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Introduction: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has recently dominated scientific literature. Incomplete understanding and a lack of data concerning the pathophysiology, epidemiology, and optimal treatment of the disease has resulted in conflicting recommendations. Adherence to existing guidelines and actual treatment strategies have thus far not bee...
Article
In recent years, long-term prescribing and use of strong opioids for chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) has increased in high-income countries. Yet existing uncertainties, controversies and differing recommendations make the rationale for prolonged opioid use in CNCP unclear. This systematic review and meta-analyses (MAs) compared the efficacy, safety...
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Vaccination hesitancy is a threat to herd immunity. Healthcare workers (HCWs) play a key role in promoting Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination in the general population. We therefore aimed to provide data on COVID-19 vaccination acceptance/hesitancy among German HCWs. For this exploratory, cross-sectional study, an online survey was con...
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Objectives To assess the effects of integrated models of care for people with multimorbidity including at least diabetes or hypertension in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) on health and process outcomes. Design Systematic review. Data sources We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, LILACS, Afric...
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Objectives. High opioid prescription rates in the United States and Europe suggest miscalibrated risk perceptions among those who prescribe, dispense, and take opioids. Findings from cognitive decision science suggest that risk perceptions and behaviors can differ depending on whether people learn about risks by experience or description. This stud...
Article
Introduction: We conducted a scoping review of dietary guidelines with the intent of developing a position paper by the "IUNS Task force on Dietary Fat Quality" tasked to summarize the available evidence and provide the basis for dietary recommendations. Methods: We systematically searched several databases and Web sites for relevant documents p...
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Aim: Recommendations on hygiene measures, personal protective equipment (PPE), isolation, and antibiotic prophylaxis were developed during the coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) pandemic and have been revised several times to date. Some of the underlying literature indicates a large evidence gap. We suspect that this leads to a large variance of m...
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In a recent systematic review, we investigated the medium‐ and long‐term effects of non‐nutritive sweeteners (NNS) in people with diabetes mellitus. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with a duration of four weeks or more comparing any type of NNS with usual diet, no intervention, placebo, water, a different NNS, or a nutritive sweeten...
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Background: Although several tools to evaluate the credibility of health care guidelines exist, guidance on practical steps for developing guidelines is lacking. We systematically compiled a comprehensive checklist of items linked to relevant resources and tools that guideline developers could consider, without the expectation that every guideline...
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Objectives: To investigate the adherence of randomised controlled trial (RCT) protocols evaluating non-regulated interventions (including dietary interventions, surgical procedures, behavioural and lifestyle interventions, and exercise programmes) in comparison with regulated interventions to the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interv...
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Background Overweight and obesity in children and adolescents are major public health challenges affecting quality of life and representing important risk factors in the development of non-communicable diseases. School environments provide great possibilities for the primary prevention of overweight and obesity and different school-based nutrition...
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Introduction: We conducted a scoping review of systematic reviews (SRs) on dietary fat intake and health outcomes in human adults within the context of a position paper by the "International Union of Nutritional Sciences Task force on Dietary Fat Quality" tasked to summarize the available evidence and provide dietary recommendations. Methods: We...
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Background Mental burden due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has been widely reported for the general public and specific risk groups like healthcare workers and different patient populations. We aimed to assess its impact on mental health during the early phase by comparing pandemic with prepandemic data and to identify potential risk and protective fa...
Article
Background: Interleukin 6 (IL-6) blocking agents have been used for treating severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Their immunosuppressive effect might be valuable in patients with COVID-19 characterised by substantial immune system dysfunction by controlling inflammation and promoting disease tolerance. Objectives: To assess the effect of...
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Objective : To assess the methodological quality and the consideration of heterogeneity in systematic reviews (SRs). Study Design and Setting : We conducted a methodological study (CRD42019134904) and searched three databases from January 2010 to July 2019. Interventional SRs with a statistically significant meta-analysis of at least four randomiz...