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  • Cited by 3
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Burgers, Jako Smolders, Mirrian Weijden, Trudy Davis, David and Grol, Richard 2013. Improving Patient Care.

    Saldanha, Ian J. Wilson, Lisa M. Bennett, Wendy L. Nicholson, Wanda K. and Robinson, Karen A. 2013. Development and pilot test of a process to identify research needs from a systematic review. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Vol. 66, Issue. 5, p. 538.

    Bennett, Wendy L. Robinson, Karen A. Saldanha, Ian J. Wilson, Lisa M. and Nicholson, Wanda K. 2012. High Priority Research Needs for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. Journal of Women's Health, Vol. 21, Issue. 9, p. 925.

  • International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, Volume 27, Issue 3
  • July 2011, pp. 247-252

Identification of research gaps from evidence-based guidelines: A pilot study in cystic fibrosis

  • Karen A. Robinson (a1), Ian J. Saldanha (a1) and Naomi A. McKoy (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 27 June 2011

Objectives: Evidence-based guideline committees are multidisciplinary and explicitly consider the existing evidence. They are thus in an ideal position to identify research gaps. However, gaps have not been systematically identified through guidelines. We pilot tested a method to systematically identify and classify gaps from evidence-based guidelines.

Methods: We reviewed all evidence-based guidelines published by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. We identified research gaps as topics for which there was insufficient evidence (recommendations were not made or consensus recommendations were made) and topics specified as needing further research. We characterized gaps using a standard framework and classified them by type of management issue, specificity of target population, and age of target population.

Results: We identified sixty-two research gaps in five guidelines (mean = 12.4/guidelines document). While thirteen gaps were topics specified as needing further research, most (n = 49) were topics with insufficient evidence. Of these forty-nine, recommendations were not made for twenty-two topics while consensus recommendations were made for twenty-seven topics. Most gaps were issues of comparative effectiveness (44/62), addressed the general cystic fibrosis population (40/62), and were specific to infants (33/62). Relevant comparisons and outcomes were explicitly stated for only 7 percent and 16 percent of gaps respectively.

Conclusions: Almost 80 percent of the gaps were not topics identified as future research needs in the guidelines documents but rather were topics with insufficient evidence for making recommendations. Although we used cystic fibrosis in the United States as an example, the method we developed could be applied in other settings, including other countries and for different diseases.

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2.D Borowitz , KA Robinson , M Rosenfeld , Cystic Fibrosis Foundation evidence-based guidelines for management of infants with cystic fibrosis. J Pediatr. 2009;155 (Suppl):S73S93.

3.P Brown , K Brunnhuber , K Chalkidou , How to formulate research recommendations. BMJ. 2006;333:804806.

4. K Chalkidou , D Whicher , W Kary , S Tunis . Comparative effectiveness research priorities: Identifying critical gaps in evidence for clinical and health policy decision making. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2009;25:241248.

5.R Chou , JC Ballantyne , GJ Fanciullo , PG Fine , C Miaskowski . Research gaps on use of opioids for chronic noncancer pain: Findings from a review of the evidence for an American Pain Society and American Academy of Pain Medicine clinical practice guideline. J Pain. 2009;10:147159.

6.L Clarke , M Clarke , T Clarke . How useful are Cochrane reviews in identifying research needs? J Health Serv Res Policy. 2007;12:101103.

7.HC de Vet , ME Kroese , RJ Scholten , LM Bouter . A method for research programming in the field of evidence-based medicine. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2001;17:433441.

8.PA Flume , PJJ Mogayzel , KA Robinson , Cystic fibrosis pulmonary guidelines: Treatment of pulmonary exacerbations. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2009;180:802808.

9.PA Flume , BP O'Sullivan , KA Robinson , Cystic fibrosis pulmonary guidelines: Chronic medications for maintenance of lung health. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2007;176:957969.

15. HZ Noorani , DR Husereau , R Boudreau , B Skidmore . Priority setting for health technology assessments: A systematic review of current practical approaches. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2007;23:310315.

16.GF Sawaya , J Guirguis-Blake , M LeFevre , R Harris , D Petitti . Update on the methods of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: Estimating certainty and magnitude of net benefit. Ann Intern Med. 2007;147:871875.

19.J Shepherd , J Briggs , L Payne , Setting the future policy agenda for health technology assessment: A specialty mapping approach. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2007;23:405413.

20.VA Stallings , LJ Stark , KA Robinson , AP Feranchak , H Quinton . Evidence-based practice recommendations for nutrition-related management of children and adults with cystic fibrosis and pancreatic insufficiency: Results of a systematic review. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008;108:832839.

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International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care
  • ISSN: 0266-4623
  • EISSN: 1471-6348
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-technology-assessment-in-health-care
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Robinson et al. supplementary material
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