Stakeholder involvement in systematic reviews: a scoping review

Alex Pollock, Pauline Campbell, Caroline Struthers, Anneliese Synnot, Jack Nunn, Sophie Hill, Heather Goodare, Jacqui Morris, Chris W. Watts, Richard Morley

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    Background: There is increasing recognition that it is good practice to involve patients, health professionals, thepublic and others (stakeholders) in systematic reviews, but limited evidence about how best to do this.

    Objectives: We aimed to document the evidence base relating to stakeholder involvement in systematic reviews,and to use this evidence to describe how stakeholders have been involved in conducting and producingsystematic reviews.

    Methods: We carried out a scoping review, following a published protocol. We searched multiple electronicdatabases (2010-16). Titles and abstracts were screened by one author, after determining > 95% agreementbetween authors. We completed pre-planned data extraction and judged the comprehensiveness of thedescription of methods of involvement. We completed additional data extraction for papers judged to have themost comprehensive descriptions.

    Results: We included 291 papers in which stakeholders were involved in a systematic review. Patients and/orcarers were involved in 30%. Thirty-two per cent were from the USA, 26% from the UK and 10% from Canada. Wejudged 10% (32) to provide a comprehensive description of methods of involving stakeholders. Of these, 69%(22/32) personally invited people and 22% (7/32) advertised opportunities to the general population. There werebetween 1 and 20 face-to-face meetings in 81% (26/32), with 83% of these holding ≤ 4 meetings. Meetings lasted 1 Abstracts of the 25th Cochrane Colloquium, Edinburgh, UK100hour to ½ day. A Delphi method was used in 19% (6/32), most often involving three electronic rounds. Details ofethical approval were reported by 10/32. Expenses were reported to be paid in 8/32 systematic reviews.

    Conclusions: We identified a relatively large number of papers (291) reporting stakeholder involvement insystematic reviews, but the quality of reporting was generally very poor. Information from a subset of papersjudged to provide the best descriptions provides examples of different ways in which stakeholders have beeninvolved in systematic reviews. These examples currently provide the best available information to inform andguide decisions around the planning of stakeholder involvement in future systematic reviews. This evidence hasbeen used to develop online learning resources. Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: Three stakeholderrepresentatives were co-authors on this review.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)102
    Number of pages1
    JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2018
    Event25th Cochrane Colloquium 2018 - Edinburgh
    Duration: 16 Sept 201818 Sept 2018


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