Case study: a patient-clinician collaboration that identified and prioritized evidence gaps and stimulated research development

J Clin Epidemiol. 2013 May;66(5):483-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2011.03.016. Epub 2011 Aug 4.


Objective: To assess the effect of a research prioritization partnership that aimed to influence the research agenda relating to urinary incontinence (UI).

Study design and setting: Research often neglects important gaps in existing evidence so that decisions must be made about treatments without reliable evidence of their effectiveness. In 2007-2009, a United Kingdom partnership of eight patient and 13 clinician organizations identified and prioritized gaps in the evidence that affect everyday decisions about treatment of UI. The top 10 prioritized research questions were published and reported to research funders in 2009. A year later, new research or funding applications relating to the prioritized topics were identified through reviews of research databases and consultation with funding organizations, elements of the research community, and organizations that participated in the partnership.

Results: Since dissemination of the prioritized topics, five studies are known to have been funded, three in development; five new systematic reviews are under way, one is being updated; five questions are under consideration by a national research commissioning body.

Conclusion: The partnership successfully developed and used a methodology for identification and prioritization of research needs through patient-clinician consensus. Prioritization through consensus can be effective in informing the development of clinically useful research.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Health Services Research / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Research Design*
  • United Kingdom
  • Urinary Incontinence / diagnosis
  • Urinary Incontinence / therapy*