The group has developed a list of priority topics from our priority setting process in 2020. We also consider other titles from the vacant titles list and titles suggested by authors, when Editors consider that a review is of a sufficiently high priority.
Criteria we consider when assessing the priority of new titles:
- Does the review address a condition that is a major burden of disease or common problem?
- Does the review address an important, current question for patients, clinicians, health care policymakers or funders (may relate to potential benefit or potential harm)
- Does the review address a question of importance for health care systems in terms of costs or savings, e.g. new, high-cost interventions, or interventions with potential for disinvestment?
- Will a review guide future research?
- Has the review been commissioned by a guideline group or funder?
- Has the topic been identified following any formal (or semi-formal) patient consultation process?
- Is the review question particularly important to low or middle-income countries?
- Are potentially eligible studies available*?
*Most Cochrane Neuromuscular Reviews specify randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-RCTs as eligible study designs. The Editors take the availability of such studies into account when assessing titles for registration. In the absence of RCTs, they will consider whether trials are in progress or, if RCTs are unlikely (e.g. unethical or not feasible), whether a review of best available evidence (to include non-randomised studies) may be appropriate.
Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine
Owing to the quality of evidence generally available and the capacity of the review group, Cochrane Neuromuscular has suspended the registration of new titles in acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, and interventions not supported by a clear scientific rationale. Exceptionally, we may consider registration of such a review if an intervention is in use or carries important potential for harm, and review teams can identify potentially valid evidence, e.g. trials performed in accordance with CONSORT extended (for TCM) or STRICTA (for acupuncture).
Prioritisation of updates
We no longer routinely update reviews at regular intervals but instead use this flow chart and the results of our priority setting to determine priorities for updating.