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BMC Med. 2014 Sep 3;12:143. doi: 10.1186/s12916-014-0143-0.

STORIES statement: publication standards for healthcare education evidence synthesis.



Evidence synthesis techniques in healthcare education have been enhanced through the activities of experts in the field and the Best Evidence Medical Education (BEME) collaborative. Despite this, significant heterogeneity in techniques and reporting of healthcare education systematic review still exist and limit the usefulness of such reports. The aim of this project was to produce the STORIES (STructured apprOach to the Reporting In healthcare education of Evidence Synthesis) statement to offer a guide for reporting evidence synthesis in health education for use by authors and journal editors.


A review of existing published evidence synthesis consensus statements was undertaken. A modified Delphi process was used. In stage one, expert participants were asked to state whether common existing items identified were relevant, to suggest relevant texts and specify any items they feel should be included. The results were analysed and a second stage commenced where all synthesised items were presented and participants asked to state whether they should be included or amend as needed. After further analysis, the full statement was sent for final review and comment.


Nineteen experts participated in the panel from 35 invitations. Thirteen text sources were proposed, six existing items amended and twelve new items synthesised. After stage two, 25 amended consensus items were proposed for inclusion. The final statement contains several items unique to this context, including description of relevant conceptual frameworks or theoretical constructs, description of qualitative methodologies with rationale for their choice and presenting the implications for educators in practice of the results obtained.


An international expert panel has agreed upon a consensus statement of 25 items for the reporting of evidence synthesis within healthcare education. This unique set of items is focused on context, rather than a specific methodology. This statement can be used for those writing for publication and reviewing such manuscripts to ensure reporting supports and best informs the wider healthcare education community.

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