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Global priority setting for Cochrane systematic reviews of health promotion and public health research
  1. J Doyle1,
  2. E Waters2,
  3. D Yach3,
  4. D McQueen4,
  5. A De Francisco5,
  6. T Stewart6,
  7. P Reddy7,
  8. A M Gulmezoglu8,
  9. G Galea9,
  10. A Portela10
  1. 1Cochrane Health Promotion and Public Health Field, USA
  2. 2Cochrane Health Promotion and Public Health Field and Social Development, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia
  3. 3Non-communicable diseases and Mental Health, WHO, Switzerland
  4. 4Global Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Scientific and Technical Development, International Union of Health Promotion and Education, USA
  5. 5Global Forum for Health Research, Switzerland
  6. 6International Health Unit, MacFarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health, Australia
  7. 7Health Promotion Research and Development Group, Medical Research Council of South Africa
  8. 8WHO Reproductive Health Library, HRP - UNDP/UNFPA/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, WHO, Switzerland
  9. 9WHO Office for Western Pacific in Manila, Philippines
  10. 10The Making Pregnancy Safer initiative, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, WHO, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor E Waters
 School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Vic 3125, Melbourne, Australia;


Background: Systematic reviews of health promotion and public health interventions are increasingly being conducted to assist public policy decision making. Many intra-country initiatives have been established to conduct systematic reviews in their relevant public health areas. The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organisation established to conduct and publish systematic reviews of healthcare interventions, is committed to high quality reviews that are regularly updated, published electronically, and meeting the needs of the consumers.

Aims: To identify global priorities for Cochrane systematic reviews of public health topics.

Methods: Systematic reviews of public health interventions were identified and mapped against global health risks. Global health organisations were engaged and nominated policy-urgent titles, evidence based selection criteria were applied to set priorities.

Results: 26 priority systematic review titles were identified, addressing interventions such as community building activities, pre-natal and early infancy psychosocial outcomes, and improving the nutrition status of refugee and displaced populations.

Discussion: The 26 priority titles provide an opportunity for potential reviewers and indeed, the Cochrane Collaboration as a whole, to address the previously unmet needs of global health policy and research agencies.

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  • Funding: the Cochrane Health Promotion and Public Health Field is supported by funding from the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Australia, The UK Health Department, UK and receives administrative support from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Australia.

  • Conflicts of interest: none declared.

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