TRANSFER is a novel approach for assessing transferability of review findings to the review context of interest. TRANSFER supports collaboration between stakeholders and review authors from the beginning of the review process to ensure the review question is relevant for end users, and to consider factors systematically and transparently that may influence transferability of the review findings to the review context of interest.
In the TRANSFER Approach, stakeholders - including clients - are seen as the context experts who can contribute to a better defined review question and more relevant review findings. The aim of this project was to use the TRANSFER Approach in a systematic review process to assess the effect of mentoring programmes for vulnerable populations on employment outcomes. The secondary review question was how the review findings would transfer to the Norwegian context.
We used the TRANSFER Approach in an initial meeting with commissioners to refine the review question and achieve a common understanding of how the results from the review were to be used. We followed up asking four participants (commissioners, mentors and mentees from mentoring programmes) to identify possible transferability factors and explain how these factors might influence the transferability of review findings to a local context. The authors plan to extract relevant data on the identified factors from included studies, assess the transferability of the review findings and using these assessments to discuss how the review findings may transfer to a Norwegian context.
The participants identified three transferability factors. The review team is currently screening for included studies.
Using the TRANSFER Approach to refine the review question and identify transferability factors has led to a more relevant and specific review question for end users and a thoughtful consideration of what may influence how the review findings transfer to the Norwegian setting.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement:
Consumers, in this case mentors, mentees and decision makers, contributed to a more precise and relevant review question. They contributed their experience and knowledge of how mentoring works in the Norwegian context and how this may differ between contexts.