Table 3

Example of how to present assessments of certainty in the body of evidence for each outcome

OutcomeAnticipated absolute effects (95% CI)No of participants (RCTs)Certainty
Risk with control groupRisk with resistance exercise training
Cardiovascular morbidity/mortalityCould not be calculated due to lack of reporting.
Systolic blood pressure (mm Hg)ST115.45 mm HgMD 3.17 mm Hg lower (6.95 lower to 0.60 higher)116 (4 RCTs)⊕◯◯◯ VERY LOW *†‡
MT122.8 mm HgMD 4.02 mm Hg lower (5.92 lower to 2.11 lower)1456 (46 RCTs)⊕◯◯◯ VERY LOW *†‡
LT131.6 mm HgMD 5.08 mm Hg lower (10.04 lower to 0.13 higher)366 (8 RCTs)⊕⊕◯◯ LOW*‡
Mean arterial pressure (mm Hg)ST86.5 mm HgMD 3.31 mm Hg lower (6.86 lower to 0.78 higher)67 (3 RCTs)⊕◯◯◯ VERY LOW*†‡
MT79.6 mm HgMD 1.57 mm Hg lower (4.60 lower to 1.46 higher)238 (10 RCTs)⊕◯◯◯ VERY LOW*†‡
Diastolic blood pressure (mm Hg)ST65.2 mm HgMD 0.72 mm Hg lower (3.66 lower to 2.22 higher)116 (4 RCTs)⊕◯◯◯ VERY LOW *† ‡
MT74.3 mm HgMD 1.73 mm Hg lower (2.88 lower to 0.57 lower)1418 (45 RCTs)⊕⊕◯◯ LOW*‡
LT76 mm HgMD 4.93 mm Hg lower (8.58 lower to 1.28 lower)346 (7 RCTs)⊕◯◯◯ VERY LOW†‡
  • Please refer to the original publication for the full results table; reproduced with permission.

  • Downgraded due to being a surrogate outcome.

  • *Downgraded due to potential for a recommendation or clinical course of action differing if the upper versus the lower boundary of the CI represented the truth and/or a sample size <400.

  • †Publication bias suspected after inspection of funnel plots.

  • ‡Inconsistent due to high heterogeneity, non-overlap of CI and/or markedly dissimilar point estimates.

  • LT, long term; MD, mean difference; MT, medium term; RCTs, randomised controlled trials; ST, short term.