A transdisciplinary team approach to scoping reviews: the case of pediatric polypharmacy

BMC Med Res Methodol. 2018 Oct 4;18(1):102. doi: 10.1186/s12874-018-0560-4.


Background: Polypharmacy can be either beneficial or harmful to children. We conducted a scoping review to examine the concept of pediatric polypharmacy: its definition, prevalence, extent and gaps in research. In this manuscript, we report our transdisciplinary scoping review methodology.

Methods: After establishing a transdisciplinary team, we iteratively developed standard operating procedures for the study's search strategy, inclusion/exclusion criteria, screening, and data extraction. We searched eight bibliographic databases, screened abstracts and full text articles, and extracted data from included studies using standardized forms. We held regular team meetings and performed ongoing internal validity measurements to maintain consistent and quality outputs.

Results: With the aid of EPPI Reviewer collaborative software, our transdisciplinary team of nine members performed dual reviews of 363 included studies after dual screening of 4398 abstracts and 1082 full text articles. We achieved overall agreement of 85% and a kappa coefficient of 0.71 (95% CI 0.68-0.74) while screening full text articles. The screening and review processes required about seven hours per extracted study. The two pharmacists, an epidemiologist, a neurologist, and a librarian on the review team provided internal consultation in these key disciplines. A stakeholder group of 10 members with expertise in evidence synthesis, research implementation, pediatrics, mental health, epilepsy, pharmacoepidemiology, and pharmaceutical outcomes were periodically consulted to further characterize pediatric polypharmacy.

Conclusions: A transdisciplinary approach to scoping reviews, including internal and external consultation, should be considered when addressing complex cross-disciplinary questions.

Keywords: Collaborative research; Pediatric polypharmacy; Scoping review; Team science; Transdisciplinary research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Databases, Bibliographic / statistics & numerical data
  • Delivery of Health Care / methods
  • Delivery of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Delivery of Health Care / trends
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Patient Care Team / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Care Team / trends
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Polypharmacy*
  • Review Literature as Topic