An equity lens can ensure an equity-oriented approach to agenda setting and priority setting of Cochrane Reviews

J Clin Epidemiol. 2013 May;66(5):511-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2012.11.013. Epub 2013 Mar 9.


Objectives: This study aimed to develop and pilot an equity lens that could help researchers in developing a more equity-oriented approach toward priority setting and agenda setting in systematic reviews.

Study design and setting: We developed an equity lens to guide the development and evaluation of a prioritization process and evaluate its outcomes based on the information derived from a discussion workshop and a comparison with the existing literature on the topic. We piloted the process section of the equity lens across the 13 structured priority-setting approaches in the Cochrane Collaboration.

Results: We devised an equity lens with two checklists: one to guide the process of priority setting (nine questions) and the other to evaluate the outcomes of priority setting (eight questions). Of the nine questions, seven questions were partially addressed by at least one of the prioritization projects. Two questions were not considered in any of them. The prioritization projects did not report sufficient outcome data, thus we could not explore the eight question on evaluating outcomes.

Conclusion: Currently, there are few strategies in the Cochrane Collaboration that explicitly address the research priorities of individuals from different sociodemographic groups. The equity lens for priority setting and agenda setting can help project teams to develop a more equity-oriented approach to set a research agenda and/or prioritize research topics. However, further studies are needed to evaluate its impact on the prioritization process.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Health Planning / organization & administration*
  • Health Priorities / organization & administration*
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality Improvement
  • Research*
  • Review Literature as Topic*
  • United Kingdom