Objective: To develop an innovative prioritisation process to identify topics for new or updated systematic reviews of tinnitus research.Design: A two-stage prioritisation process was devised. First, a scoping review assessed the amount of randomized controlled trial-level evidence available. This enabled development of selection criteria for future reviews, aided the design of template protocol and suggested the scale of work that would be required to conduct these reviews. Second, using the pre-defined primary and secondary criteria, interventions were prioritised for systematic review.Study sample: Searches identified 1080 records. After removal of duplicates and out of scope works, 437 records remained for full data charting.Results: The process was tested, using subjective tinnitus as the clinical condition and using Cochrane as the systematic review platform. The criteria produced by this process identified three high priority reviews: (1) Sound therapy using amplification devices and/or sound generators; (2) Betahistine and (3) Cognitive behaviour therapy. Further secondary priorities were: (4) Gingko biloba, (5) Anxiolytics, (6) Hypnotics, (7) Antiepileptics and (8) Neuromodulation.Conclusions: A process was developed which successfully identified priority areas for Cochrane systematic reviews of interventions for subjective tinnitus. This technique could easily be transferred to other conditions and other types of systematic reviews.
- systematic review