Guidance Documents


Examples of Cochrane groups that conducted priority setting exercises: link

Examples of systematic reviews on research priorities

Examples of research priority setting exercises in the literature (under development)

Overview of methods used in priority setting

The Ludwig Boltman Gesellschaft – Open innovation in science centre is hosting a database of priority setting exercises

Montorzi, G., S. de Haan, and C. IJsselmuiden, Priority Setting for Research for Health: a management process for countries. 

Grill, C. Involving stakeholders in research priority setting: a scoping review. Res Involv Engagem 7, 75 (2021).

Using Guidelines to inform priority setting of Systematic Reviews

  1. Yu T, Li T, Friedman DS, Dickersin K, Puhan M. Asia-Pacific clinicians prioritize comparative effectiveness research for the management of primary angle closure. Journal of Glaucoma (in press).

  2. Li T, Vedula SS, Scherer R, Dickersin K. What comparative effectiveness research is needed? A framework for using guidelines and systematic reviews to identify evidence gaps and research priorities. Ann Intern Med. 2012;156(5):367-77.

  3. Li T, Ervin A, Scherer R, Jampel H, Dickersin K. Setting priorities for comparative effectiveness research: A case study using primary open-angle glaucoma. Ophthalmology. 2010;117(10):1937-45.

Using GRADE to inform priority setting of Systematic Reviews

 Siegfried N, Narasimhan M, Kennedy CE, Welbourn A, Yuvraj A.Using GRADE as a framework to guide research on the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women living with HIV – methodological opportunities and challenges.AIDS Care. 2017 Apr 27:1-6. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2017.1317711.  [Epub ahead of print]

Equity in Priority setting Process

  1. Nasser M, Ueffing E, Welch V, Tugwell P. An equity lens can ensure an equity-oriented approach to agenda setting and priority setting of Cochrane Reviews. J Clin Epidemiol. 2013 May;66(5):511-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2012.11.013.

  2. Bhaumik S, Rana S, Karimkhani C, Welch V, Armstrong R, Pottie K, Dellavalle R, Dhakal P, Oliver S, Francis DK, Nasser M, Crowe S, Aksut B, Amico RD. Ethics and equity in research priority-setting: stakeholder engagement and the needs of disadvantaged groups. Indian J Med Ethics. 2015 Apr-Jun;12(2):110-3.

  3. Jaramillo A, Welch VA, Ueffing E, Gruen RL, Bragge P, Lyddiatt A, Tugwell P. Prevention and self-management interventions are top priorities for osteoarthritis systematic reviews. J Clin Epidemiol. 2013 May;66(5):503-510.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2012.06.017

Evidence mapping

  1. Clavisi O, Bragge P, Tavender E, Turner T, Gruen RL. Effective stakeholder participation in setting research priorities using a Global Evidence Mapping approach. J Clin Epidemiol. 2013 May;66(5):496-502.e2.

  2. Bragge P, Clavisi O, Turner T, Tavender E, Collie A, Gruen RL. The Global Evidence Mapping Initiative: scoping research in broad topic areas. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2011 Jun 17;11:92.

  3. Miake-Lye IM, Hempel S, Shanman R, Shekelle PG. What is an evidence map? A systematic review of published evidence maps and their definitions, methods, and products. Syst Rev. 2016 Feb 10;5:28. doi: 10.1186/s13643-016-0204-x.

Stakeholder engagement in priority setting

  1. Grill, C. Involving stakeholders in research priority setting: a scoping review. Res Involv Engagem 7, 75 (2021).

  2. Madden M, Morley R. Exploring the challenge of health research priority setting in partnership: reflections on the methodology used by the James Lind Alliance Pressure Ulcer Priority Setting Partnership. Research Involvement and Engagement20162:12 DOI: 10.1186/s40900-016-0026-y

  3. Pollock A, St George B, Fenton M, Crowe S, Firkins L. Development of a new model to engage patients and clinicians in setting research priorities. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2014 Jan;19(1):12-8. doi: 10.1177/1355819613500665.

  4. Elwyn G, Crowe S, Fenton M, Firkins L, Versnel J, Walker S, Cook I, Holgate S, Higgins B, Gelder C. Identifying and prioritizing uncertainties: patient and clinician engagement in the identification of research questions. J Eval Clin Pract. 2010 Jun;16(3):627-31.

  5. Abma TA, Pittens CA, Visse M, Elberse JE, Broerse JE. Patient involvement in research programming and implementation: A responsive evaluation of the Dialogue Model for research agenda setting. Health Expect. 2015 Dec;18(6):2449-64. doi: 10.1111/hex.12213. Epub 2014 May 30. PubMed PMID: 24889933.

  6. Elberse JE, Caron-Flinterman JF, Broerse JE. Patient-expert partnerships in research: how to stimulate inclusion of patient perspectives. Health Expect. 2011 Sep;14(3):225-39. doi: 10.1111/j.1369-7625.2010.00647.x. Epub 2010 Dec 22.

  7. Abma TA, Broerse JE. Patient participation as dialogue: setting research agendas. Health Expect. 2010 Jun;13(2):160-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1369-7625.2009.00549.x.

  8. Caron-Flinterman JF, Broerse JE, Teerling J, Bunders JF. Patients' priorities concerning health research: the case of asthma and COPD research in the Netherlands. Health Expect. 2005 Sep;8(3):253-63.

  9. Broerse JE, Zweekhorst MB, van Rensen AJ, de Haan MJ. Involving burn survivors in agenda setting on burn research: an added value? Burns. 2010 Mar;36(2):217-31. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2009.04.004. Epub 2009 Jul 4.

  10. Chalmers I, Atkinson P, Fenton M, Firkins L, Crowe S, Cowan K. Tackling treatment uncertainties together: the evolution of the James Lind Initiative, 2003-2013. J R Soc Med. 2013 Dec;106(12):482-91. doi: 10.1177/0141076813493063. Epub 2013 Jul 3.

  11. Elberse JE, Pittens CA, de Cock Buning T, Broerse JE. Patient involvement in a scientific advisory process: setting the research agenda for medical products. Health Policy. 2012 Oct;107(2-3):231-42. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2012.05.014. Epub 2012 Jun 25.

Critical reviews on research priority setting

Cromwell I, Peacock SJ, Mitton C. 'Real-world' health care priority setting using explicit decision criteria: a systematic review of the literature. BMC Health Serv Res. 2015 Apr 17;15:164.

Economic Approaches to Priority Setting: 

The following are a list of references to papers describing quantitative approaches to research priority setting:

Programme Budgeting and Marginal Analysis:

  1. Brambleby P. A survivor's guide to programme budgeting. Health Policy1995;33(2):127-45.
  2. Cohen DR. Messages from Mid Glamorgan: a multi-programme experiment with marginal analysis. Health Policy1995;33(2):147-55.
  3. Craig N, Parkin D, Gerard K. Clearing the fog on the Tyne: programme budgeting in Newcastle and North Tyneside Health Authority.Health Policy1995;33(2):107-25.
  4. Holmes RD, Bate A, Steele JG, Donaldson C. Commissioning NHS dentistry in England: issues for decision-makers managing the new contract with finite resources.Health Policy2009;91(1):79-88.
  5. Holmes RD, Steele J, Exley CE, Donaldson C. Managing resources in NHS dentistry: using health economics to inform commissioning decisions.BMC Health Serv Res2011;11:138.
  6. Madden L, Hussey R, Mooney G, Church E. Public health and economics in tandem: programme budgeting, marginal analysis and priority setting in practice.Health Policy1995;33(2):161-8.
  7. Mitton C, Donaldson C. Twenty-five years of programme budgeting and marginal analysis in the health sector, 1974-1999.J Health Serv Res Policy2001;6(4):239-48.
  8. Peacock SJ, Richardson JR, Carter R, Edwards D. Priority setting in health care using multi-attribute utility theory and programme budgeting and marginal analysis (PBMA).Soc Sci Med2007;64(4):897-910.
  9. Posnett J, Street A. Programme budgeting and marginal analysis: an approach to priority setting in need of refinement.J Health Serv Res Policy1996;1(3):147-53.
  10. Twaddle S, Walker A. Programme budgeting and marginal analysis: application within programmes to assist purchasing in Greater Glasgow Health Board.Health Policy1995;33(2):91-105. 
  11. Wilson E, Sussex J, Macleod C, Fordham R. Prioritizing health technologies in a Primary Care Trust.J Health Serv Res Policy2007;12(2):80-5.

Value of Information Analysis:

  1. Claxton K. The irrelevance of inference: a decision-making approach to the stochastic evaluation of health care technologies.J Health Econ1999;18(3):341-64.
  2. Claxton K, Cohen JT, Neumann PJ. When is evidence sufficient?Health Aff (Millwood)2005;24(1):93-101.
  3. Willan AR, Pinto EM. The value of information and optimal clinical trial design.Stat Med2005;24(12):1791-806.
  4. Wilson E, Abrams K. From Evidence Based Economics to Economics Based Evidence: Using Systematic Review to inform the design of future research. In: Shemilt I, Mugford M, Vale L, Marsh K, Donaldson C, editors.Evidence Based Economics. London: Blackwell Publishing, 2010.

Measuring Impact - this website provides a great database of impact studies to help you plan for future research priority setting studies