At PCORI, our Evidence Synthesis Initiative provides overviews of research findings to patients, clinicians, policy makers, and others who need that information to make the critical healthcare decisions they face daily. We designed these resources to inform patients, clinicians, payers, and others across the healthcare community, with stakeholder guidance. They can inform shared decision making, clinical guidelines, and help to identify priorities for future research.
We have and continue to produce a wide range of evidence-based resources to provide timely, relevant information to our stakeholders. In addition to systematic reviews and evidence maps, these products include:
- Evidence updates
- Rapid-cycle studies
- Individual participant-level data meta-analysis
- Emerging technologies and therapeutics reports
Other products in process include horizon scans.
We’re pleased to have just posted the newest of these resources, the first two in a series of evidence maps displaying relevant research on specific health topics as a way to identify where new research is needed. Now, we’d like to update you on another element in our portfolio, our systematic reviews.
We’ve previously posted four systematic review updates. Now, with valuable input from our stakeholders, including clinician societies, we have topics for our next three reviews. These are: induction of labor (proposed by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology); radiation therapy for brain metastases (the American Society for Radiation Oncology); and dyspnea in patients with advanced cancer (American Society of Clinical Oncology).
We will continue to seek input as we consider future topics.
A Growing Family of Systematic Reviews
The most common type of evidence synthesis is the systematic review, which provides an analysis of published and unpublished results from all studies relevant to a topic.
Because new research findings are constantly emerging, it’s important to update previously published reviews. New results have the potential to change how strongly evidence supports or does not support a treatment’s effectiveness. This can affect treatment guidelines and recommendations.
We met with stakeholders to learn how PCORI could best invest in updates. Stakeholders’ input and guidance helped us decide which topics to focus on and what questions to ask.
Our published review updates, conducted in partnership with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, focus on the effectiveness of drug and behavioral treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder; the effectiveness of drug therapies for patients who have had rheumatoid arthritis for a year or less; the benefits and harms of drug and nondrug treatments for urinary incontinence, the uncontrollable loss of urine; and the evaluation of evidence on stroke prevention in patients who have atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat.
We look forward to additional opportunities to bring useful, timely information through our evidence synthesis products to patients, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders. If you have any questions or feedback, please share them with us in the comments sections below.