Methods of Rapid Reviews Top Priorities

  1. What are the best approaches to identify people or groups who will use the results of a rapid review (e.g. stakeholders such as patients and the public, clinicians, policy makers), and how can they have meaningful (i.e., purposeful, relevant) involvement in planning and doing a rapid review, and in reporting and sharing the findings?
  2. Do rapid reviews generate similar findings to full systematic reviews, and should the findings from all rapid reviews be considered at lower certainty compared to full systematic reviews?
  3. How best can underserved stakeholder groups (e.g. ethnic minorities, socio-economically disadvantaged) and stakeholders from under represented countries (e.g. countries of different income levels) be identified and have meaningful (i.e., purposeful, relevant) involvement in planning and doing rapid reviews, and in sharing the results?
  4. When deciding if a research question would benefit from being the focus of a rapid review, rather than a full systematic review, what criteria are helpful?
  5. What simplified or omitted methods of a systematic review (e.g. single versus dual screening of citations for inclusion, restrictions on types of studies included) are appropriate to apply in a rapid review, and what are the effects of these simplifications or omissions (e.g. effect on the methods, conclusions, funding available)?
  6. What are the best approaches to assess the quality of studies included in a rapid review, and if a quality assessment is either limited or excluded, how should the findings be interpreted?
  7. How best can information on ongoing and completed rapid reviews be shared in a way that minimises research waste?
  8. What are the best approaches for developing a search strategy for use in a rapid review, and what is the impact of applying restrictions (e.g. years of inclusion, language, phase of study)?
  9. What are the best approaches for reporting the findings of a rapid review in a clear, succinct way without limiting information on the complete methods, findings and strength of the evidence?
  10. What are the most useful processes to use when developing a rapid review research question?

The following questions were also discussed and put in order of priority at the workshop:

  1. How broad or focused should the scope of a research question for a rapid review be?
  2. What are the best approaches for determining the inclusion and exclusion criteria for a rapid review, and what is the impact of the various restrictions that may be applied (e.g. requiring ethical approval and any restrictions which may limit the inclusion of underserved groups)?
  3. How best can a definition of ‘rapid reviews’ be agreed?
  4. What training or supports are needed to help people to plan, do and share the findings of rapid reviews?
  5. What is the value of doing a rapid review before a full systematic review or as an update of a systematic review, and should the plans for a rapid review include a commitment to return to the question and carry out a fuller review when more time and resources are available?
  6. What is the best composition of a rapid review team (e.g. expertise)?
  7. How can a scoping exercise of the literature inform the planning of rapid reviews?