Our priority topics

Priority review topics - UK editorial base

Updated March 2017

We have prepared a list of priority EPOC review topics, these have been identified as important to decision makers.

    • Computer-generated reminders delivered on paper to healthcare professionals; effects on professional practice and health care outcomes (Update)
    • Factors that influence the provision of intrapartum and postnatal care by skilled birth attendants in low- and middleincome countries: a qualitative evidence synthesis (New review)
    • Hospital nurse staffing models and patient and staff related outcomes (Update)
    • Interventions to improve hand-hygiene compliance in patient care (Update)
    • Interventions to improve outpatient referrals from primary care to secondary care (Update)
    • Local consensus processes: effects on professional practice and health care outcomes (New review)
    • Patient reminder and recall systems to improve immunization rates (Update)
    • Printed educational materials: effects on professional practice and healthcare outcomes (Update)
    • Public release of performance data in changing the behaviour of healthcare consumers, professionals or organisations (Update)
    • The effects of on-screen, point of care computer reminders on processes and outcomes of care (Update)

Suggestions regarding priority topics for systematic reviews of health system arrangements and implementation strategies are welcome. Please check the resources listed below before sending suggestions to the Managing Editor for the UK editorial base.

Priority review topics in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) - Norwegian satellite

We have prepared a list of priority topics for reviews based on topics identified in overviews of health system arrangements and implementation strategies in low-income countries. We applied the following criteria to the list of topics for which an up-to-date EPOC review was not available:

  • The topic addresses an important problem in low- and middle-income countries
  • A review could help to inform decisions about how to address the problem or inform decisions about a research agenda to address the problem
  • For topics where there already is a non-EPOC review on the topic, there is a good reason for updating it or undertaking a new review

The priority topics that we identified are listed here (PDF): Priority topics for LMIC reviews

Suggestions regarding priority topics for systematic reviews of health system arrangements and implementation strategies of relevance to low- and middle-income countries are welcome. Please check the resources listed below before sending suggestions to the Managing Editor at the Norwegian EPOC satellite.

Priority topics - Australian satellite

The Australian satellite carried out a survey of senior health policy-makers in all Australian States and Territories in late 2008 to identify and prioritise EPOC systematic reviews that would be important for policy-makers in Australia. The results of the survey were published in the Australian Health Review journal (see article

Eighty-five priority topics were identified including advance practice roles, care for Indigenous Australians, care for chronic diseases, co-ordinating care across jurisdictions, admission avoidance, and eHealth. Sixty Cochrane reviews addressed these issues at the time of publication with 34 additional reviews in progress. Thirty-four topics were yet to be addressed including:

  • Effects of clinical networks on healthcare quality and clinical outcomes
  • Effects of alternative funding models on quality and access to services in rural and remote services
  • Effects of regional versus national management of health budgets on efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare
  • Advanced practice roles for paramedics to reduce hospital presentations after ambulance calls
  • Effects of implementing advanced practice roles for allied health professionals
  • Effects of allied health assistants to the health workforce
  • Effects of introducing physician assistants to the health workforce
  • Effects of permanent versus temporary or casual staff on safety and quality of care
  • Interventions for improving access to health services for Indigenous people
  • Interventions to improve participation of Indigenous people in the health workforce
  • Interventions to improve safety of health professionals in the workplace
  • Interventions to provide professional support to health professionals working in rural and remote areas
  • Use of PDAs to improve access to health records
  • Interventions to improve access, effectiveness and efficiency of health services for prisoners
  • Interventions to improve access, effectiveness and efficiency of health services for refugees
  • Interventions to improve appropriate uptake of diagnostic and treatment services after screening tests
  • Interventions to support Indigenous people from rural and remote areas receiving care away from home
  • Strategies for improving community engagement in health service planning and delivery
  • Effectiveness of strategies for predicting demand for acute health services
  • Effects of different methods for deciding health priorities in population health outcomes
  • Effects of electronic versus paper-based health records
  • Effects of government versus non-government provision of community-based support services
  • Interventions to improve planning for health workforce needs
  • Patient registers to improve chronic disease management
  • Effects of credentialing of health professionals on safety and quality of care
  • Intervention to improve co-ordination of services between multiple funding bodies

If your author group is based in Australia, or in the South-East Asian region, and you are interested in undertaking a systematic review within these priority areas  or would like to suggest priority topics for systematic reviews please check the resources listed below before sending suggestions to the Managing Editor at the Australian EPOC satellite.

EPOC resources for authors suggesting review topics

Please see the following resources for review authors, if you are interested in doing a review:

Minimum requirements for registering a title with EPOC

For LMIC-specific reviews please see: When should EPOC reviews only include studies from low- and middle-income countries?

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Cochrane Resources for Authors

EPOC Resources for Authors

EPOC Editorial Process