SUPPORT summaries

Support Summary

The SUPPORT Summary is a structured 6-8 page synthesis of the results from a systematic review tailored for policymakers in low income countries. Authors begin with a GRADE Summary of Findings table of the review and combine this content with their own assessments concerning relevance for low income countries. Each summary includes:

  • Key findings from the review
  • Key background information needed to understand the findings
  • A summary of what the review authors searched for and found
  • A detailed summary of the main findings of the review, including an assessment of the quality of evidence for those findings
  • An assessment of the relevance of the review to LMIC, including issues of applicability, equity, economic considerations and the need for monitoring and evaluation
  • References for additional information on the topic

A collaboration of researchers from Norway, Argentina, Colombia, Uganda, South Africa and China developed the SUPPORT summary format through extensive user testing with policy-makers in all six countries.

How is the SUPPORT Summary format currently being used?

The Cochrane EPOC satellite in Norway is currently coordinating an effort to produce SUPPORT Summaries of reviews that are relevant to low-income countries. These summaries are freely available online: Information about how SUPPORT Summaries are prepared can be found here:

See list of all completed SUPPORT summaries.

Templates and instructions for use

SUPPORT summary template

Relevant publications from staff at Cochrane Norway

1. Rosenbaum SE, Glenton C, Wiysonge CS, Abalos E, Migniini L, Young T, et al. Evidence summaries tailored for health policymakers in low and middle-income countries. WHO Bulletin, 2011; 89: 54-61.

2. Rosenbaum S, Glenton C, Oxman A.  Developing summaries of evidence for health policy makers in low  and middle-income countries. (pdf format, 1606 kb) Cochrane Colloquium, Freiburg, Germany; October 2008.


The SUPPORT Summary template was developed through the SUPPORT Collaboration, a research project from funded by the European Commission┬┤s 6th Framework Programme Priority FP6-2004-INCO-DEV-3, and by the Global Health Research Initiative (GHRI) of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Production and editing of SUPPORT Summaries is supported in part by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).