Progressive Pulmonary Fibrosis PSP question verification form


Published: 06 July 2023

Version: 1.1

Print this document

The purpose of this Question Verification Form is to enable Priority Setting Partnerships (PSPs) to describe clearly how they checked that their questions were unanswered, before starting the interim prioritisation stage of the process.

The JLA requires PSPs to be transparent and accountable in defining their own scope and evidence checking process. This will enable researchers and other stakeholders to understand how individual PSPs decided that their questions were unanswered, and any limitations of their evidence checking. 

Name of the PSP

Progressive pulmonary fibrosis

Please describe the scope of the PSP

The scope of the Progressive Pulmonary Fibrosis (PPF) PSP focuses on determining the uncertainties related to diagnosis, treatment, and care of PPF.

Please provide a brief overview of your approach to checking whether the questions were unanswered

For reasons of practicality, highly focused and targeted searches were conducted to identify systematic reviews rather than a full systematic approach (which would have been impractical within the timeframe of the PSP).
The searches followed a hierarchy, first the NICE guidelines and Cochrane Library were consulted, followed by the databases searches, and ultimately google scholar if insufficient evidence was highlighted.

Given the broad scope of our PSP, questions were considered unanswered if there was no systematic review, a recent systematic review indicated insufficient evidence or insufficient evidence outlined in consensus papers.

Please list the type(s) of evidence you used to verify your questions as unanswered

The evidence used to verify the questions are unanswered were as follows:

  • Systematic reviews
  • Clinical guidelines
  • Clinical trials
  • Experts’ consensus

Please list the sources that you searched in order to identify that evidence

Through the Imperial library the following databases were consulted


Other resources included in the search were as follows:

  • Cochrane library
  • NICE guidelines
  • Google Scholar

What search terms did you use?

Sets of terms were combined depending on the type of questions, following the PICO approach where possible. Keywords were searched in the title and abstract and expanded to the full text if no results were retrieved.

E.g. on EMBASE, Population was selected as

lung fibrosis/ or fibrosing alveolitis/ or progressive pulmonary
idiopathic pulmonary or fibrosing alveolitis/
interstitial lung or interstitial lung disease/
lung or lung sarcoidosis/
systemic sclerosis/ or connective tissue disease/ or interstitial lung disease/ or fibrosing alveolitis/ or connective tissue diseases interstitial lung

Please describe the parameters of the search (eg time limits, excluded sources, country/language) and the rationale for any limitations

Eligibility criteria used for the inclusion of evidence were as follows:

  • To ensure retrieval of the most recent literature, searches were restricted to from 2015 to current.
  • Search limited to English-only articles, studied in humans, and restricted to adults
  • Guidelines, systematic review, review, articles, and articles in press were included
  • Abstract, Editorial, or research letters were excluded

Names of individuals who undertook the evidence checking

Dr Laura Fabbri

On what date was the question verification process completed?


Any other relevant information

The term “progressive pulmonary fibrosis” only recently has been introduced in academia. For this reason, searches were extended to “idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, connective tissue disease, sarcoidosis” and linked terms.