Essential items for reporting of scaling studies of health interventions (SUCCEED): Protocol for a systematic review and Delphi process


The lack of a reporting guideline for scaling of evidence-based practices (EBPs) studies has prompted the registration of the Standards for reporting studies assessing the impact of scaling strategies of EBPs (SUCCEED) with EQUATOR Network. The development of SUCCEED will be guided by the following main steps recommended for developing health research reporting guidelines.


Executive Committee. We established a committee composed of members of the core research team and of an advisory group.

Systematic review. The protocol was registered with the Open Science Framework on 29 November 2019 ( We will include reporting guidelines or other reports that may include items relevant to studies assessing the impact of scaling strategies. We will search the following electronic databases: EMBASE, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, Web of Science, from inception. In addition, we will systematically search websites of EQUATOR and other relevant organizations. Experts in the field of reporting guidelines will also be contacted. Study selection and data extraction will be conducted independently by two reviewers. A narrative analysis will be conducted to compile a list of items for the Delphi exercise. Consensus process. We will invite panelists with expertise in: development of relevant reporting guidelines, methodologists, content experts, patient/member of the public, implementers, journal editors, and funders. We anticipated that three rounds of web-based Delphi consensus will be needed for an acceptable degree of agreement. We will use a 9-point scale (1 = extremely irrelevant to 9 = extremely relevant). Participants’ response will be categorized as irrelevant (1–3), equivocal (4–6) and relevant (7–9). For each item, the consensus is reached if at least 80% of the participants’ votes fall within the same category. The list of items from the final round will be discussed at face-to-face consensus meeting. Guideline validation. Participants will be authors of scaling studies. We will collect quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (semi-structured interview) data. Descriptive analyses will be conducted on quantitative data and constant comparative techniques on qualitative data.


Essential items for reporting scaling studies will contribute to better reporting of scaling studies and facilitate the transparency and scaling of evidence-based health interventions.