The population section of the template is designed to capture details about the people included in the study, including eligibility, differences between groups and baseline characteristics.
Fields within the population section of the template are listed under two subheadings, described in more detail below.
There are three default fields that can't be removed from the template. These fields allow you to record population eligibility and differences between groups:
- Inclusion criteria - to record the list of criteria used to define who was eligible for the study
- Exclusion criteria - to record the list of criteria used to define who was not eligible for the study
- Group differences - space to note any important ways the intervention groups differed, such as a higher age or lower severity scores
The baseline characteristics subheading does not include any default fields. Custom fields can be added to suit your review. Within the template, you can add baseline characteristics to capture details about the population of the study, as shown below.
Baseline characteristics defined in the template will appear as a table when completing data extraction for each study, with columns for each intervention group defined in the template (see Interventions) and the Overall population, depending what is needed for the review.
If a study does not include all possible interventions, users can leave columns blank or enter a standard ‘not reported’ in fields that are not relevant to a given study.
The Additional data subheading does not include any default fields and is a place for you to add custom fields to suit the specifics of the review not captured within the other subheadings.
Examples of custom fields that may be useful to add under this subheading include:
- Minimum age/maximum age - as a separate field to overall inclusion and exclusion criteria
- Disease severity criteria - as above and any other eligibility information such as the different types of treatment participants were allowed to take or that were not permitted during the study
- Number of withdrawals/%dropout - to capture data about participant flow that is needed for the quality assessment