Identifying priority questions regarding rapid reviews methodology: an eDelphi process

The Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre is currently working with participants on this project.

We are working with researchers and stakeholders who have published RRs or undertaken methodological research in RRs and knowledge synthesis:

  • with verifiable experience designing or delivering evidence summary research
  • who have participated in at least one rapid review
  • have at least 5 years research experience
  • self-rate their evidence summary knowledge level at 7 or over (on a Likert-like scale of 0-no expertise to 10-expert)
  • OR – are guideline and policy developers, end-users, journal editors, or other who have had previous experience with any aspect of evidence synthesis

Rapid systematic reviews, also called “rapid reviews,” are an evidence summary method that accelerates the process of conducting a traditional systematic review by streamlining or omitting a variety of methods to produce evidence in a resource-efficient manner.

The aim of this project is to identify priority questions that need to be answered regarding the “doing/performing part” of a rapid review. This “doing/performing part” includes all steps after the creation of the research to before the development of the final report.

The study will follow the general eDelphi process laid out in the Guidance on Conducting and REporting DElphi Studies (CREDES).  There will be an initial generation of potential research areas, followed by multiple rounds of an online survey for ranking, and then a final consensus meeting.

Participants are asked to rate and rank the items based on the following question: how important would the answers of this question be to improve the time-efficiency (i.e., balance between the time taken and the quality of the final results) of a systematic rapid review?

The sample consists of:

  • Researchers who have published RRs or undertaken methodological research in RRs and knowledge synthesis. In order to standardise the level of expertise, all experts will self-identify themselves, answering eligibility questions, on the basis of having: verifiable experience designing or delivering evidence summary research; participation in at least one rapid review, and with ≥5 years research experience and self-rating their knowledge on evidence summary synthesis as ≥7 on a 0 (no expertise) to 10 (expert) point Likert-like scale.
  • Stakeholders, e.g., guideline and policy developers, end-users (public and patients), journal editors, or others who have had previous experiences in participating in any aspect of evidence synthesis.

Round 3 survey now in progress

Round 3 is only open to participants who have taken part in rounds 1 and/or 2. 

Participants will receive an email with a personalized link to access the survey. Participants are invited to contact the team if they have any questions (see below).


More information

If you have any questions regarding the study, please contact the research team:

  • Ariany Marques Vieira, PhD Student, Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Applied Physiology, Concordia University. Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre, CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
  • Geneviève Szczepanik, Research Coordinator of the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre, CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
  • Simon Bacon, Professor, Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Applied Physiology, Concordia University, Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre co-director, CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal

The Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre, which is a joint Concordia University, UQAM and CIUSSS-NIM research centre, is recruiting participants for the following project:

Identifying priority questions regarding rapid reviews methodology: an eDelphi process

The aim of this project is to identify priority questions that need to be answered regarding the “doing/performing part” of rapid review methods, for example: search strategies; study selection (level one and two screening); data extraction; risk of bias appraisal; and data synthesis.

Approximately 30-50 rapid reviews experts and stakeholders will participate in the eDelphi process. Participants will be rating and ranking items regarding rapid review methods in online rounds of the survey, using the LimeSurvey platform. The entire process will have three rounds, sent about 1 month apart, with each round taking approximately 20 minutes to complete.

In each survey round participants will rate items’ importance, as high, medium, and low. For the items rated as high important, they will be asked to rank them in order of priority focusing on the concept of the item, not the wording (1=highest priority, 2=2nd highest, etc.). Specific questions with open format responses will allow for modifications to the wording of items, as well as suggestions of additional items.

After the eDelphi phase, some participants will be invited by the investigative team to a consensus meeting. This meeting will also happen online and will follow established nominal group technique methods. The summary of the results of the previous work will be provided in advance, to ground conversations on empirical information and to facilitate cohesive discussion during the meeting. The consensus meeting will generate a summary document detailing the questions that will generate the final priority list.

View the complete project protocol

The project is organized and developed by two main groups: the Central Scientific Committee and the Research Team.

The Central Scientific Committee is responsible for the review and edit the initial list of methodological items, providing feedback on the survey structure and project plan, providing feedback on the results of each survey round (agreeing on the items that participants may suggest, dropping of items, etc.), and helping to share the eDelphi with their networks.

The Research Team, based  at the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre, is responsible for creating and delivering on the project timelines, creating project documents, setting up and organizing the survey, and managing the public partner involvement in the project.

Research Team
Simon L Bacon, PhD

Project supervisor

Co-director MBMC

META Group coordinator

Ariany Marques Vieira, MSc PhD Student – MBMC, Concordia University, META Group Canada
Paula A B Ribeiro, PhD

Research Associate MBMC

META Group scientific coordinator

Doro Yip Research Assistant MBMC/META Group Canada
Geneviève Szcepanik, PhD Project Coordinator MBMC Canada


Central Scientific Committee (alphabetical order)
Surname, Name Affiliation Country
Akl, Elie Clinical Research Institute, AUB GRADE center, and SPARK, American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon Lebanon
Bacon, Simon L Concordia University / Co-director Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre (MBMC)  
Bragge, Peter Monash Sustainable Development Institute Evidence Review Service, Monash University, Melbourne Australia Australia
de Waure, Chiara President of the section on Health Technology Assessment of EUPHA. Associate professor of public health University of Perugia Italy
Kuchenmüller, Tanja Unit Head, Evidence to Policy and Impact, Research for Health – Science Division, World Health Organization (Serving in her personal capacity, not necessarily representing the views, decisions or policies of the World Health Organization). Switzerland
Langer, Laurenz Africa Centre for Evidence, University of Johannesburg South Africa
Lavis, John N Professor and Canada Research Chair in Evidence-Support Systems, McMaster University, Canada Canada
Oliver, Sandy EPPI-Centre, University College London. Africa Centre of Evidence, University of Johannesburg  
Pollock, Danielle Research Fellow, Evidence-based Healthcare Research Division, JBI, University of Adelaide, Australia Australia
Stojanovic, Jovana Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH), Canada Canada
Tricco, Andrea Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) Evidence Alliance, Canada Canada

Vieira, Ariany M

(Chair of the Committee)

Concordia University, Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre (MBMC) Canada