Priority reviews

The ARI team's priority-setting project identifies research areas of most importance and significance that need systematic reviews to inform clinical practice and inform healthcare consumers about prevention and treatment of acute respiratory infections. The priority-setting project is ongoing.

Phase 1: Determining research gaps


To identify interventions for which there are effectiveness trials (especially randomised controlled trials (RCTs)) that have not been systematically reviewed.



We exported ARI trials register records and compared these with current Cochrane ARI Reviews. We looked for gaps where completed trials had not been systematically reviewed. We assigned an intervention and health condition to each of 157 Cochrane Reviews and 5393 RCTs.



Most topics had been systematically reviewed, but many RCTs (2174, 41%) were not included in any review. 



We identified many RCT topics that have not yet been systematically reviewed. Phase 2 established priority of topics for clinicians and healthcare consumers.


Phase 1 results have been published: Determining the gaps between Cochrane reviews and trials of effectiveness of interventions for acute respiratory infections: an auditAccess is also provided to the interactive data graph

Phase 2: Survey

This phase involved identified stakeholders and invited their participation in a two-round online survey. The aim was to narrow 68 possible topics to a top 20 list.

Round I of the survey in October to November 2017 asked participants five questions: three demographic questions and two about prioritisation areas. We contacted ARI review authors and contributors, including consumer referees; the invitation to participate was also disseminated via Cochrane communication channels and the Evidence-Based Healthcare mailing list. We also contacted consumer health groups.

We analysed results to identify the top systematic review topics derived from two questions:

  1. Topics where evidence existed but there is no Cochrane Review.
  2. Up to 10 topics suggested by respondents.

Survey report

The survey report has been published. Access the abstract here.