Prioritising Cochrane reviews on the prevention and treatment of obesity: a mapping and stakeholder consultation project

Date & Time
Tuesday, September 5, 2023, 2:35 PM - 2:45 PM
Location Name
St James
Session Type
Oral presentation
Priority setting
Oral session
Priority setting and partnerships
Richardson R1, Blaxhall M2, Schoonees A3, Metzendorf M4, Durao S5, Naude C6, Farquhar C7, Bero L8
1Cochrane Central Executive Team, UK
2The University of Auckland Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, School of Medicine, New Zealand
3Stellenbosch University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Centre for Evidence-based Healthcare, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, South Africa
4Heinrich-Heine-Universitat Dusseldorf, Institute of General Practice, Medical Faculty, Germany
5South African Medical Research Council; Cochrane SA, South Africa
6Stellenbosch University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Centre for Evidence-based Health Care, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, South Africa
7The University of Auckland Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences; Auckland City Hospital, New Zealand
8University of Colorado - Anschutz Medical Campus, Center for Bioethics and Humanities, School of Medicine and Public Health, USA

Background: The WHO notes that worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. In 2016, over 650 million adults were obese. Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, and some cancers. Clinical practice and public health guidelines on the prevention and treatment of obesity rely on the availability of up-to-date synthesised evidence. It is therefore important for Cochrane to produce timely and relevant reviews that can inform such guidelines.
• To identify reviews in the Cochrane Library (CL) related to obesity.
• To identify relevant guidelines and note the evidence gaps highlighted by these guidelines.
• To develop research questions from these evidence gaps.
• To map the list of CL reviews against these questions.
• To consult with stakeholders to prioritise questions for future reviews.
Methods: In Phase 1, we undertook systematic searches for Cochrane reviews published at any time and for relevant guidelines. We identified evidence gaps and formulated research questions for these gaps. We then mapped the existing Cochrane reviews against the formulated questions to identify areas where new reviews or updates of reviews are needed. In Phase 2, we developed an online questionnaire, identified stakeholders, and asked them to prioritise the questions for which Cochrane reviews are needed.
Results: Table 1 describes the outputs at each stage of the process. We identified 36 reviews and 7 protocols, as well as 22 eligible guidelines. We formulated 49 research questions that could be addressed by Cochrane intervention reviews. The Gap Map highlighted that none of the existing Cochrane reviews were both up-to-date and comprehensively answered the developed questions. We therefore included all the questions in our consultation with stakeholders. Thirty-six expert stakeholders participated in an online consultation exercise. Table 2 provides our ‘top ten’ review questions as prioritised by stakeholders.
Conclusions: This project identified priorities for reviews in the critically important area of obesity. We recommend that Cochrane authors address the prioritised review questions, in consultation with evidence users. Patient, public, and/or healthcare consumer involvement: We involved people with lived experience of obesity in our consultation and sought expertise from people from indigenous backgrounds.

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