Prioritisation Process

We are now looking for your input in our new prioritisation exercise in 2020 for the next 3 years. Please complete this short survey!

Cochrane Skin is undertaking another review of its systematic review titles. We would like to ask if you would think about which Cochrane reviews or updates you would like us to prioritise over the next three years. We will gather the views of a wide range of stakeholders together and make a final shortlist with our international editors. We will then share the results of this exercise on our website. 


This process will involve looking at our existing list of reviews and protocols (click on 'Full list'), as well as new title suggestions. New reviews should be concerned with healthcare interventions and have a high potential impact on individual or public health. Due to the availability of high-level methodological input within Cochrane, we are particularly interested in supporting teams undertaking more methodologically challenging systematic reviews. For example, reviews including network meta-analysis, individual patient meta-analysis, diagnostic test accuracy, prognosis, and living reviews.


So for now, please complete this survey, letting us know what you regard as the most important topics for us to prioritise as a Cochrane Skin review in the next three years. You can suggest up to five, and please tell us why you think they are important. The survey contains 7 questions and should take around 5-10 minutes to complete. All submissions will be kept confidential and data from this survey will only be accessible by the members of the Cochrane Skin Editorial Board.

  • If you have a colleague or contact whom you feel should complete the survey, please feel free to share the survey link with them. 
  • If you have any questions please contact Helen Scott, Assistant Managing Editor, at 

The survey will be open until 31 January 2020. Thank you for your valuable feedback!

In September 2017 the Cochrane Skin Group celebrated running for 20 years, and we are proud of the 100+ high quality systematic reviews that have been produced over that period. Our expanding portfolio, and the increasing number of non-Cochrane systematic reviews, meant that we needed to take stock and prioritise Cochrane Skin reviews going forward. We want to ensure that Cochrane Skin reviews are the reviews most needed by our stakeholders. We are particularly interested in reviews that are key to informing guidelines or policy, or that are funded by our stakeholders. We are also particularly interested in doing methodologically challenging systematic reviews that involve techniques such as network meta-analysis, individual patient meta-analysis and diagnostic test accuracy reviews.

With this in mind, we undertook a prioritisation exercise, asking for suggestions from a wide range of stakeholders about what reviews or updates they would like us to prioritise over the next two years. You can read more about it here, in a Cochrane blog, or in a publication in the BJD.


Our Deputy Co-ordinating Editor, Dr Bob Boyle, led the project, which began in January 2017. Our aim was to identify titles which were 1) key to informing guidelines or policy, 2) not already well-covered by a Cochrane systematic review, and 3) of maximum clinical importance and greatest relevance to patients and health care funders.




We consulted a wide range of stakeholders (such as professional societies, guideline development groups, healthcare commissioners, the CSG membership and patient representatives) to ask for title suggestions.


We then reviewed prioritisation exercises undertaken by the James Lind Alliance (JLA) and others and suggestions for further research made by national and international guideline groups. Furthermore, skin disorders identified as carrying a significant global burden in the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) project and their representation in the CSG portfolio were considered and gaps identified.


We were open to suggestions of completely new review questions that had never been registered, as well as updates of existing reviews where there may be important new evidence. We asked that suggestions were about healthcare interventions, i.e. the effectiveness of different approaches to preventing, treating or diagnosing skin disease.


After gathering all title suggestions and incorporating wider dermatological research results, a final shortlist was sent to our international editors, who rated their preferences. The full document can be downloaded here.


Implications of the prioritisation work


The prioritisation process is part of our response at Cochrane Skin to major changes in the way we work being requested by both Cochrane centrally and our funders. We are in the process of reviewing our current portfolio of titles and putting new processes in place in ensure we can support our priority titles effectively. If you are currently working on a legacy title not in the priority list, you will still be able to submit it to the editorial process. However, our aim over time is to only work on titles from among our priorities. The prioritisation process will be undertaken again in 18-24 months’ time and we encourage all our members to contribute to it.    

Useful links:

Priority Setting Partnerships

Uncertainties and gaps identified by the Eczema PSP

Uncertainties and gaps identified by the Vitiligo PSP

Uncertainties and gaps identified by the Epidermolysis bullosa PSP

Uncertainties and gaps identified by the Hidradenitis suppurativa PSP

Uncertainties and gaps identified by the Acne PSP

Uncertainties and gaps identified by the Cellulitis PSP

Uncertainties and gaps identified by the Hair Loss PSP

Uncertainties and gaps identified by the Hyperhidrosis PSP

Uncertainties and gaps identified by the Lichen Sclerosus PSP

Uncertainties and gaps identified by the Psoriasis PSP

The Global Burden of Disease Project (GBD) with the WHO has identified 13 skin conditions within the scope of the Cochrane Skin Group that will help to guide our efforts. In the order in which they have an effect on DALYs (disability adjusted life years): dermatitis, acne, bacterial and viral skin diseases, urticaria, fungal skin diseases, pruritus, alopecia areata, cellulitis, melanoma, psoriasis, non-melanoma skin cancer and leprosy.  

The International League of Dermatology Societies (ILDShave launched an initiative to address the challenge of achieving global skin health and have identified 9 criteria which should guide progress with NMSC, acne and psoriasis.