International Survey on Research Priorities for Cochrane Systematic Reviews on Multiple Sclerosis
In 2020, we started an international priority-setting project with the aim of identifying the most relevant topics in MS healthcare evaluating research questions that should be addressed in future systematic reviews. Topics were identified and ranked through an anonymous, web-based questionnaire. We asked respondents to rank thier priorities from a list of 16 questions suggested by a multi-stakeholder panel, as well as suggesting additional topics that they thought were missing from the list.
We were very pleased by the response: 1.190 questionnaires were completed, with responses coming from 55 countries worldwide mainly from people with multiple sclerosis and their families as well as healthcare professionals.
The analysis of he ranking given to proposed topics by respondents indicated the following five questions as priorities:
Does MRI help predict disability worsening of PwMS?
What are the benefits and harms of treating PwMS with one disease-modifying drug compared to another?
Does psychological health affect disease progression in PwMS?
Does multidisciplinary care by teams of different social and health professionals improve health outcomes and experiences for PwMS?
What are the benefits and harms of exercise for PwMS?
The group is now working on or planning systematic reviews relating to these topics.
Future work will concentrate on an analysis of free-text responses to supplement the list above.
 Maria Grazia Celani, Francesco Nonino, Kathryn Mahan et al. Identifying unanswered questions and setting the agenda for future systematic research in Multiple Sclerosis. A worldwide, multi-stakeholder Priority Setting project, Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, Volume 60, 2022, 103688, ISSN 2211-0348, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2022.103688.