Prioritisation processes for updating of systematic reviews, health technology assessments and clinical guidelines

By Laure Martinez

Recently, Martínez García et al. 2017 have published a systematic review on prioritisation processes for updating systematic reviews (SRs), health technology assessments (HTAs), or clinical guidelines (CGs).

 The authors searched MEDLINE (PubMed, August 2016) and The Cochrane Methodology Register (The Cochrane Library, 2016). They hand searched abstract books, reviewed reference lists, and contacted experts. Two reviewers independently screened the references and extracted data.

 The SR includes 14 studies. Six studies were classified as descriptive and eight as implementation studies. Six studies reported an updating strategy, six a prioritization process, and two a prioritization criterion. Eight studies focused on SRs, six studies focused on CGs, and none were about HTAs. The authors identified 76 prioritization criteria that can be applied when prioritizing documents for updating. The most frequently cited criteria were as follows: available evidence, clinical relevance, and users' interest.

 This study compiles strategies that may foster prioritization process to efficiently maintain SRs, HTAs, and CGs up to date. However, further rigorous methodological research is required to optimize the prioritization process for updating.

 Currently, this working group are using the results of this SR for developing the UpPriority Tool, a pragmatic tool to prioritize clinical questions for updating within a CG.



Martínez García L, Pardo-Hernandez H, Superchi C, Niño de Guzman E, Ballesteros M, Ibargoyen Roteta N, et al. Methodological systematic review identifies major limitations in prioritisation processes for updating. J Clin Epidemiol. 2017.