Priority reviews

Check in for regular updates about the progress of our priority reviews

In 2016, we announced the results of our priority setting project, in which we worked in partnership with consumers (patients), health professionals, policymakers, and others, to identify five priority topics for our Cochrane Reviews. 

We did this because we wanted to ensure the reviews we publish are as useful as possible to the people who need to use, or might be affected by, our research.

The five reviews topics selected were:

  • Improving communication about end of life care
  • Consumer engagement strategies
  • Promoting patient-centred care
  • Patient and family involvement in patient safety
  • Improving future doctors’ communication skills

You can read about each of these reviews, and their progress, below. 

To learn more about how we arrived at these topics, take a look at our priority setting project webpage, and our final report.

About our priority reviews

All of our priority review teams are working closely with relevant stakeholders (such as consumers/patients, health professionals, medical students and policymakers) as they plan and undertake their reviews. Some are working with consumer co-authors, and others have advisory groups, or a combination of both.

We have offered additional support to our priority teams to streamline the review production and editorial processes. This includes:

  • Piloting some of Cochrane’s newer technologies, like machine learning and Cochrane Crowd, to reduce their screening workload
  • Providing extra support with review methods and stakeholder engagement approaches. Some of the teams include one of our editors as a co-author.

PRIORITY REVIEW 1: Improving communication about end of life care

Review title: Interventions for improving communication around end of life care among health professionals and patients and their families or carers

About the authors: This review is led by Amanda Henderson at the University of the Sunshine Coast (Australia), with colleagues from La Trobe University, the University of New South Wales, the University of Queensland, Health Care Consumers Association of the ACT and Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.

Progress: The author team have worked long and hard to complete the protocol, with input from their consumer co-author and Victorian health policymakers, both informally, and as part of the peer review process. The protocol was published in September 2018, and they are now working on the review. 

Publications: You can read the protocol for this review here (NEW).

PRIORITY REVIEW 2: Consumer engagement strategies

Review title: Methods of consumer involvement in developing healthcare policy and research, clinical practice guidelines and patient information material (Update of existing review, review title likely to be amended)

About the authors: Louise Wiles, University of South Australia and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and Debra Kay, SAHMRI (Consumer Engagement) are leading the review with Hilde Tinderholt Myrhaug from the Knowledge Center for Health Services, Norwegian Institute of Public Health (a member of the original team); Susan Hiller and Julie Luker from the University of South Australia; and Annie Synnot from La Trobe University.

Progress: The author team convened a review advisory group, including consumer representatives, health policy makers, health service managers and health professionals. They’ve held a series of interviews, and teleconferences to develop a new protocol for the review. The protocol was published in July 2018, and they are aiming to publish the review by February 2019. Read more about this review, and the stakeholder engagement approach, here (NEW).

Publications: You can read the protocol for this review here (NEW).

PRIORITY REVIEW 3: Promoting patient-centred care

Review title: Working in partnership at the health service level to promote person-centred care: a qualitative evidence synthesis

About the authors: Bronwen Merner (our Managing Editor, La Trobe University) is leading the review with Sophie Hill (Coordinating Editor, La Trobe University), Carolyn Gaulden, Cinzia Colombo (IRCCS Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Milan, Italy), Vicki Xafis (Sydney Children's Hospital Network, Australia) and Lisa Graham-Wisener (Marie Curie Hospice, Ireland). 

Progress: As of April 2018, the team has convened two rounds with a stakeholder panel to develop the draft protocol. The protocol is currently being peer-reviewed.

Publications: This qualitative evidence synthesis will complement an existing intervention review on person-centred care by Dwamena et al (2012).

PRIORITY REVIEW 4: Patient and family involvement in patient safety

Review title: Interventions to increase patient and family involvement in escalation of care for acute life-threatening illness in community health and hospital settings

About the authors: This review is led by Nicola Mackintosh at the University of Leicester with colleagues from King’s College London.

Progress: The team has worked closely with their advisory group members to finalise the protocol, which was published in October 2017.

Publications: You can read the protocol for this review here 

PRIORITY REVIEW 5: Improving future doctors’ communication skills

Review title: Interventions for improving medical students’ interpersonal communication in medical consultations

About the authors: Conor Gilligan at the University of Newcastle, leads this review, with colleagues from the University of Newcastle, Monash University, Deakin University, Australian Catholic University, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, and University of Cambridge.

Progress: After publishing the protocol in November 2016, the review is well underway, with the team finding plenty of studies to include in the review. 

Publications: You can read the protocol for this review here.