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      Transitional care for formerly incarcerated persons with HIV: protocol for a realist review

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          Abstract

          Background

          Little is known about the mechanisms that influence the success or failure of programs to facilitate re-engagement with health and social services for formerly incarcerated persons with HIV. This review aims to identify how interventions to address such transitions work, for whom and under what circumstances.

          Methods

          We will use realist review methodology to conduct our analysis. We will systematically search electronic databases and grey literature for English language qualitative and quantitative studies of interventions. Two investigators will independently screen citations and full-text articles, abstract data, appraise study quality and synthesize the literature. Data analysis will include identifying context-mechanism-outcome configurations, exploring and comparing patterns in these configurations, making comparisons across contexts and developing explanatory frameworks.

          Discussion

          This review will identify mechanisms that influence the success or failure of transition interventions for formerly incarcerated individuals with HIV. The findings will be integrated with those from complementary qualitative and quantitative studies to inform future interventions.

          Systematic review registration

          PROSPERO CRD42016040054

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13643-017-0428-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 40

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          Preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols (PRISMA-P) 2015 statement

          Systematic reviews should build on a protocol that describes the rationale, hypothesis, and planned methods of the review; few reviews report whether a protocol exists. Detailed, well-described protocols can facilitate the understanding and appraisal of the review methods, as well as the detection of modifications to methods and selective reporting in completed reviews. We describe the development of a reporting guideline, the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses for Protocols 2015 (PRISMA-P 2015). PRISMA-P consists of a 17-item checklist intended to facilitate the preparation and reporting of a robust protocol for the systematic review. Funders and those commissioning reviews might consider mandating the use of the checklist to facilitate the submission of relevant protocol information in funding applications. Similarly, peer reviewers and editors can use the guidance to gauge the completeness and transparency of a systematic review protocol submitted for publication in a journal or other medium.
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            Realist review--a new method of systematic review designed for complex policy interventions.

            Evidence-based policy is a dominant theme in contemporary public services but the practical realities and challenges involved in using evidence in policy-making are formidable. Part of the problem is one of complexity. In health services and other public services, we are dealing with complex social interventions which act on complex social systems--things like league tables, performance measures, regulation and inspection, or funding reforms. These are not 'magic bullets' which will always hit their target, but programmes whose effects are crucially dependent on context and implementation. Traditional methods of review focus on measuring and reporting on programme effectiveness, often find that the evidence is mixed or conflicting, and provide little or no clue as to why the intervention worked or did not work when applied in different contexts or circumstances, deployed by different stakeholders, or used for different purposes. This paper offers a model of research synthesis which is designed to work with complex social interventions or programmes, and which is based on the emerging 'realist' approach to evaluation. It provides an explanatory analysis aimed at discerning what works for whom, in what circumstances, in what respects and how. The first step is to make explicit the programme theory (or theories)--the underlying assumptions about how an intervention is meant to work and what impacts it is expected to have. We then look for empirical evidence to populate this theoretical framework, supporting, contradicting or modifying the programme theories as it goes. The results of the review combine theoretical understanding and empirical evidence, and focus on explaining the relationship between the context in which the intervention is applied, the mechanisms by which it works and the outcomes which are produced. The aim is to enable decision-makers to reach a deeper understanding of the intervention and how it can be made to work most effectively. Realist review does not provide simple answers to complex questions. It will not tell policy-makers or managers whether something works or not, but will provide the policy and practice community with the kind of rich, detailed and highly practical understanding of complex social interventions which is likely to be of much more use to them when planning and implementing programmes at a national, regional or local level.
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              RAMESES publication standards: realist syntheses

              Background There is growing interest in realist synthesis as an alternative systematic review method. This approach offers the potential to expand the knowledge base in policy-relevant areas - for example, by explaining the success, failure or mixed fortunes of complex interventions. No previous publication standards exist for reporting realist syntheses. This standard was developed as part of the RAMESES (Realist And MEta-narrative Evidence Syntheses: Evolving Standards) project. The project's aim is to produce preliminary publication standards for realist systematic reviews. Methods We (a) collated and summarized existing literature on the principles of good practice in realist syntheses; (b) considered the extent to which these principles had been followed by published syntheses, thereby identifying how rigor may be lost and how existing methods could be improved; (c) used a three-round online Delphi method with an interdisciplinary panel of national and international experts in evidence synthesis, realist research, policy and/or publishing to produce and iteratively refine a draft set of methodological steps and publication standards; (d) provided real-time support to ongoing realist syntheses and the open-access RAMESES online discussion list so as to capture problems and questions as they arose; and (e) synthesized expert input, evidence syntheses and real-time problem analysis into a definitive set of standards. Results We identified 35 published realist syntheses, provided real-time support to 9 on-going syntheses and captured questions raised in the RAMESES discussion list. Through analysis and discussion within the project team, we summarized the published literature and common questions and challenges into briefing materials for the Delphi panel, comprising 37 members. Within three rounds this panel had reached consensus on 19 key publication standards, with an overall response rate of 91%. Conclusion This project used multiple sources to develop and draw together evidence and expertise in realist synthesis. For each item we have included an explanation for why it is important and guidance on how it might be reported. Realist synthesis is a relatively new method for evidence synthesis and as experience and methodological developments occur, we anticipate that these standards will evolve to reflect further methodological developments. We hope that these standards will act as a resource that will contribute to improving the reporting of realist syntheses. To encourage dissemination of the RAMESES publication standards, this article is co-published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing and is freely accessible on Wiley Online Library (http://www.wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/jan). Please see related article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/11/20 and http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/11/22
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                jenkin.tsang@yahoo.ca
                mishras@smh.ca
                janet@pasan.org
                O'CampoP@smh.ca
                ZieglerC@smh.ca
                KouyoumdjiaF@smh.ca
                mathesonf@smh.ca
                ahmed.bayoumi@utoronto.ca
                shatabdy.zahid@mail.utoronto.ca
                416-867-7460 , tantoniou@smh.ca
                Journal
                Syst Rev
                Syst Rev
                Systematic Reviews
                BioMed Central (London )
                2046-4053
                13 February 2017
                13 February 2017
                2017
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.415502.7, The Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, , St. Michael’s Hospital, ; Toronto, ON Canada
                [2 ]GRID grid.17063.33, Department of Medicine, , University of Toronto, ; Toronto, ON Canada
                [3 ]GRID grid.415502.7, Centre for Urban Health Solutions, , St. Michael’s Hospital, ; Toronto, ON Canada
                [4 ]Prisoners with HIV/AIDS Support Action Network, Toronto, ON Canada
                [5 ]GRID grid.17063.33, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, , University of Toronto, ; Toronto, ON Canada
                [6 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8227, GRID grid.25073.33, Department of Family Medicine, , McMaster University, ; Hamilton, ON Canada
                [7 ]GRID grid.415502.7, Division of General Internal Medicine, , St. Michael’s Hospital, ; Toronto, ON Canada
                [8 ]GRID grid.17063.33, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, , University of Toronto, ; Toronto, Ontario Canada
                [9 ]GRID grid.415502.7, Department of Family and Community Medicine, , St. Michael’s Hospital and University of Toronto, ; 410 Sherbourne Street, 4th Floor, Toronto, ON M4X 1K2 Canada
                Article
                428
                10.1186/s13643-017-0428-4
                5307639
                28193290
                © The Author(s). 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funding
                Funded by: St. Michael's Hospital Foundation Translational Innovation Fund
                Award ID: NA
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Protocol
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2017

                Public health

                post-prison, hiv, prisoners, intervention, realist review

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