Prioritizing research needs based on a systematic evidence review: A pilot process for engaging stakeholders

Rachel Gold, Evelyn P. Whitlock, Carrie D. Patnode, Paul S. Mcginnis, David I. Buckley, Cynthia Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background/context Systematic evidence reviews (SERs) identify knowledge gaps in the literature, a logical starting place for prioritizing future research. Varied methods have been used to elicit diverse stakeholders' input in such prioritization. Objective To pilot a simple, easily replicable process for simultaneously soliciting consumer, clinician and researcher input in the identification of research priorities, based on the results of the 2009 SER on screening adults for depression in primary care. Methods We recruited 20 clinicians, clinic staff, researchers and patient advocates to participate in a half-day event in October 2009. We presented SER research methods and the results of the 2009 SER. Participants took part in focus groups, organized by profession; broad themes from these groups were then prioritized in a formal exercise. The focus group content was also subsequently analysed for specific themes. Results Focus group themes generally reacted to the evidence presented; few were articulated as research questions. Themes included the need for resources to respond to positive depression screens, the impact of depression screening on delivery systems, concerns that screening tools do not address comorbid or situational causes of depression and a perceived 'disconnect' between screening and treatment. The two highest-priority themes were the system effects of screening for depression and whether depression screening effectively leads to improved treatment. Conclusion We successfully piloted a simple, half-day, easily replicable multi-stakeholder engagement process based on the results of a recent SER. We recommend a number of potential improvements in future endeavours to replicate this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-350
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Research prioritization
  • Stakeholder involvement
  • Systematic evidence review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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