Priority Setting

Priority Setting

Priority setting at the Complementary Medicine Field

Cochrane Complementary Medicine recognizes that there are many questions on complementary, alternative, or integrative medicine that require high-quality, up-to-date systematic reviews. It is important to prioritize these questions so that research resources are used wisely. We are therefore supporting projects to identify high-priority topics for future Cochrane reviews and to prioritize updates of existing Cochrane reviews.

Research priorities for mind-body medicine and chronic pain

In 2018 Cochrane Complementary Medicine developed a survey to identify priority questions in the area of mind and body interventions for chronic non-cancer pain.  Our Advisory Board completed the initial survey and suggested additions and revisions to that survey (see the results of the Advisory Board survey here). We have revised the survey and obtained IRB approval to disseminate the survey to a range of audiences. More information on the survey is available here.

We have now completed analysis of the survey results and they are available here:

We will continue to update this page as we identify topic questions that are priorities.

Evaluation of signals to update existing systematic reviews

In 2016-2018, the Ottawa Knowledge Synthesis Group (led by Drs Brian Hutton and David Moher) conducted a series of signal detection evaluations to assess whether a series of Cochrane reviews in the area of complementary medicine did or did not require updating. Full reports summarizing the findings of these evaluations, consisting of both clinical expert input as well as formal search updates paired with screening and updating of meta-analyses, were completed and have been made openly available. The reports addressed the following Cochrane reviews (conclusions regarding updating need are provided in parentheses):

·         Ginko Biloba for cognitive impairment and dementia (REQUIRES updating) 

·         Acupuncture for shoulder pain (REQUIRES updating)

·         Glucosamine therapy for treating osteoarthritis (REQUIRES updating)

·         Mistletoe therapy in oncology (does NOT REQUIRE updating)

·         Antioxidant supplements for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (does NOT REQUIRE updating)

·         Light therapy for seasonal depression (REQUIRES updating; current in posting process)

When the prioritization of questions on mind and body interventions for chronic pain results in a question that has been answered by an existing Cochrane review, we will partner with the Ottawa Knowledge Synthesis Group to examine whether that review requires or does not require updating.