COVID-19 Evidence Synthesis

The SPOR Evidence Alliance is committed to promoting evidence-informed health policy, practice and service by providing context-sensitive and demand-driven up-to-date scientific evidence to decision-makers. This page showcases knowledge synthesis work being conducted by the Alliance researchers in response to decision-maker needs.

If you  are seeking synthesized evidence to inform decision(s) related to health policy, practice and/or service for COVID-19, please tell us about your research needs by completing the query intake form found here.

We will be making ongoing updates and additions to this page. Stay tuned.

 


Risk of Acquiring COVID-19 Associated with Singing in a Choir: A Quick Response Report Completed

Commissioned by: Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Led by: Dr. Stephen Bornstein, Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research, Memorial University of Newfoundland

 

What is the study question?
What is the risk of acquiring COVID-19 associated with singing in a choir?
What is already known?
Evidence suggests that the COVID-19 virus is spread through both droplet transmission and airborne transmission via aerosols. Aerosol transmission occurs through both normal speech and singing, in addition to the more commonly understood routes of sneezing, coughing, etc. Singing involves greater risk that normal speech, and singing loudly involves greater risk than singing softly.
What this study adds?
This quick report provides a snapshot of available evidence and guidelines on in-person choir singing and associated risk of acquiring COVID-19.

 


Preventing the Transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Older Adults Aged 60 Years and Above Living in Long-Term Care: A Rapid Review Completed

Commissioned by: Canadian Frailty Network
Led by: Dr. Andrea Tricco, Knowledge Translation Program, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto

 

What is the study question?
What are the infection prevention and control practices, including employment and remuneration policies, for preventing or reducing the transmission of COVID-19, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in older adults aged 65 years and above, with or without frailty or other comorbid conditions, living in long-term care?
What is already known?
There is a substantial body of evidence and many existing guidelines related to prevention and control of viral respiratory infections; however, there is very little guidance specific to the circumstances of the COVID-19 global pandemic and no existing synthesis on the subject.
What this study adds?
This review provides a comprehensive review of current evidence and guidelines for infection prevention and control measures specific to COVID-19 populations.

 


COVID-19 in Children with Brain-Based Developmental Disabilities: A Rapid Review Completed

Commissioned by: CHILD-BRIGHT Network
Led by: Dr. Annie LeBlanc, Centre de recherche sur les soins et les services de première ligne de l’Université Laval (CERSSPL-UL)

 

What is the study question?
Are children with brain-based developmental disabilities more likely to develop COVID-19, and have complications or poorer outcomes following infection?
What is already known?
The prevalence of symptomatic COVID-19 in children remains low to date. Of the 23,082 cumulative COVID-19 cases reported in Canada as of April 23rd, 2020,  1,055 (4.6%) were in patients aged 19 years old and under. However, children with neurological and neuromuscular conditions are vulnerable to the respiratory complications of other viral infections.
What this study adds?
This rapid review highlights that there is limited evidence on the impact of COVID-19 in children with brain-based developmental disabilities, as well as those at risk of developing such disabilities. More data, including the presence of brain-based disabilities and other at-risk conditions in children, are required to have a better understanding of the clinical impacts of COVID-19 on these potentially more vulnerable populations.

 


Transmission of Acute Respiratory Infections During Aerosol Generating Medical Procedures: Update of 2011 CADTH Systematic Review Completed

Commissioned by: Alberta Health Services
Led by: Dr. Fiona Clement, The Health Technology Assessment Unit, University of Calgary

 

What is the study question?
What is the risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections to health care workers caring for patients undergoing aerosol-generating clinical procedures?
What is already known?
In 2011, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) completed a systematic review on aerosol-generating procedures and associated risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections. There have been no known recent systematic reviews conducted on this topic since 2011.
What this study adds?
This review provides and overview of the 2011 CADTH report, and presents synthesis of updated findings. The updated review identified two new studies, and both concluded that performance of aerosol generating procedures increased the risk of transmission to health care workers. However, results should be interpreted in the context that all the procedures were grouped together, hence precise risks of individual procedures could not be determined.

 


Guidelines for Preventing Respiratory Illness in Older Adults Aged 60 Years and Above Living in Long-Term Care: A Rapid Review of Clinical Practice Guidelines Completed

Commissioned by: Infection Prevention & Control, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization
Led by: Dr. Andrea Tricco, Knowledge Translation Program, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto

 

What is the study question?
What are the existing protection and control recommendations for viral respiratory infections from published clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for adults aged 60 years and older in long-term care settings?
What is already known?
Numerous government agencies have published CPGs for infection prevention and control for their respective jurisdictions; however, there are no universal recommendations that long-term care facilities can turn to for guidance.
What this study adds?
This review provides a comprehensive overview of existing CPGs for long-term care facilities published across the globe and summarizes their recommendations for infection prevention and management.

 


Preventing Respiratory Illness in Older Adults Aged 60 Years and Above Living in Long-Term Care: A Rapid Overview of Reviews Completed

Commissioned by: Infection Prevention & Control, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization
Led by: Dr. Andrea Tricco, Knowledge Translation Program, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto

 

What is the study question?
What evidence is there for prevention and control practices/measures for preventing or reducing respiratory viruses in older adults living in long-term care?
What is already known?
Infection prevention and control is a well-established field with a well-studied body of evidence covering a variety of measures.
What this study adds?
This review provides an overview of the effectiveness of infection prevention and control measures that have been studied in systematic reviews.