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Table 15 TRANSFER Conversation Guide

From: The TRANSFER Approach for assessing the transferability of systematic review findings

TRANSFER Factor Would you be concerned if data comes from contexts where… Example Notes
Environmental context
 Temporal context … the data was collected at a different point in time? e.g., studies conducted before 2000  
 Geopolitical context … the geographical, political or economic context is different? e.g., studies conducted in post-conflict settings, settings where there is famine, high income settings, democratic settings, settings with colder/warmer temperatures, rural or urban settings  
 Health or welfare system context …the health or welfare system is arranged differently? e.g., free versus fee-based primary health care, comprehensive vs. limited family welfare services  
 Local professional/Expert opinion … local professional/expert opinions are different? e.g., experts are explicitly in favor or/against the intervention  
 Community acceptability … the local community has a different level/degree of acceptability for the intervention or the condition being addressed by the intervention? e.g. religious reasons, ethical reasons, other social reasons  
 Existence of alternative and/or co-existing interventions … participants are exposed to alternative or supplemental interventions while participating in the intervention under examination? e.g. contexts where all parents of small children are provided with free family counselling at the same time as they participate in a study where the intervention is online counselling for families with small children  
Participants
 Participant characteristics …participants are different with respect to demographic characteristics, level of education, etc.? e.g., studies on participants older/younger than those in your context, contexts with a different gender ratio,  
 Participant compliance …participants are different with respect to how well they follow instructions? e.g., studies on pedestrian interventions to improve traffic safety in contexts where people are more/less likely to follow traffic rules  
 Availability of personal support for participants …participants have different access to personal support networks? e.g., contexts where families live close by vs. individualistic cultures  
 Characteristics of illness / condition and comorbidities …participants’ condition or illness and comorbidities are different? e.g., studies on premenstrual symptoms from Asian cultures versus western cultures where research suggests a difference in how women experience these conditions  
 Participant acceptability and preferences …participants level of acceptability and/or preferences regarding interventions/treatment, etc. are different? e.g., studies of colon cancer screening interventions for men from contexts where they prefer to be called into/make their own annual appointments  
 Participant need for / access to information …participants have a different need for/access to/expectation of information? e.g., studies from contexts where participants have a greater expectation of receiving comprehensive and detailed information regarding their treatment/intervention  
Intervention
 Details related to the intervention … the intervention components/stages/phases/elements are routinely/consistently differ from your context? These issues may be covered in while defining the review question and covered under inclusion/exclusion criteria in some cases.  
…the intervention has a different duration, frequency, intensity? These issues may be covered in while defining the review question and covered under inclusion/exclusion criteria in some cases.  
…the intervention is delivered in a different setting? These issues may be covered in while defining the review question and covered under inclusion/exclusion criteria in some cases.  
…the availability and/or characteristics of materials/manuals for delivering the intervention is different? These issues may be covered in while defining the review question and covered under inclusion/exclusion criteria in some cases.  
…the intervention is delivered differently than it would be in a “real life setting”? e.g. laboratory/efficacy studies  
…the intervention has been tailored? These issues may be covered in while defining the review question and covered under inclusion/exclusion criteria in some cases.  
…the intervention is not delivered according to how it should be (i.e. implantation fidelity)? e.g., the study authors describe clear deviations from how the intervention is intended to be developed (checklists such as TIDier could be helpful here)  
 Category / status of the intervention … the intervention is categorized differently? e.g. policy, practice, programme, guideline  
 Implementation of the intervention …the intervention is delivered by service providers who differ from those in your setting? e.g., number of service providers, characteristics of service providers, such as training or skill level or type/status of service providers’ position, their compliance with implementation directions, any other factors that may influence their motivation to implement the intervention, such as religious beliefs, cultural background or support from leadership/colleagues?  
…the intervention is implemented by an organization that differs from those that would be expected to implement the intervention in your setting? e.g., type of organization, size/structure, culture, policies, service and financing systems, interagency working relationships, available/allocated resources, communication/endorsement of intervention, evolution/sustainability of intervention  
Comparison intervention
  …the quality or comprehensiveness of the comparison intervention is different? This is likely to be important for the transferability of most interventions  
…“usual services” is different with respect to quality, comprehensiveness or content? This is likely to be important for the transferability of most interventions  
Outcomes
  …the way an outcome is defined or measured is different, including length and intensity of follow-up? e.g., culturally different scales to measure quality of life, long-term versus short-term follow-up  
…the way an outcome is prioritized (by clients/patients) is different? e.g., patient-important outcomes  
  1. This is the most current version of the conversation guide and was developed based on feedback from review teams and stakeholders who used the previous tested version. Further testing of this version is planned