Use of multi-attribute decision-making to inform prioritization of Cochrane review topics relevant to rehabilitation

William J. Taylor, Sally E. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Limited resources imply the need for prioritization; this also applies to the conduct of Cochrane Reviews. Therefore, processes for identifying the most important topics for review should be determined. AIM: The aim of this study was to describe some examples of prioritization approaches used within Cochrane; to introduce the concept of multi-criteria decision analysis, provide an example of how this is being used to determine the relative importance of research questions in musculoskeletal health by the Australasian Musculoskeletal Clinical Trials (ANZMUSC) network and how a similar approach could be used to inform Cochrane Rehabilitation priorities. METHODS: A narrative overview of the Cochrane Methods Priority Setting Group and new guidance from Cochrane on priority setting; a description of the ANZMUSC prioritization project and the proposed outline of a prioritization process that could be undertaken by Review Groups related to rehabilitation. RESULTS : There are no explicit processes for prioritization for Cochrane Reviews that involve multi-criteria decision making, even though such approaches appear to be potentially useful and may overcome some disadvantages of alternative approaches. DISCUSSION: Although the ANZMUSC prioritization project is not yet complete nor shown to be successful, it may offer a useful road-map for developing a transparent method of prioritizing which research topics to pursue, in a way that could be easily implemented and updated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-330
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Decision making
  • Rehabilitation
  • Review

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