Exeter PRP Evidence Review Facility

We are one of two research groups in the UK commissioned by the National Institute of Health Research Policy Research Programme (PRP) to conduct syntheses of evidence to inform policy development and evaluation across the full policy remit of the Department of Health and Social Care.

We work alongside and in collaboration with the London-York Evidence Reviews Facility which is a collaboration between the EPPI-Centre (Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre), UCL Institute of Education, University College London; CRD (Centre for Reviews and Dissemination), University of York; and PHES (Public Health, Environments and Society), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Visit our blog: https://planeterfexeter.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Exeter_ERF

**We are currently seeking people who would like to sit on a Patient, Carer and Public Advisory Group. Please click here for more information**

The work

The programme of work involves appraising and synthesising research and other evidence to address policy needs. This can encompass evidence regarding the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, patient and practitioner experience, and implementation of models and initiatives for informing the development and evaluation of health and social care policy in the UK. Our outputs may also directly inform the commissioning of new primary research.

The work mainly comprises systematic reviews, scoping reviews and rapid reviews, plus using other more innovative methods for evidence synthesis where the nature of the questions and evidence requires.  See our current and past projects below.

The Exeter PRP Evidence Review Facility’s team

The Exeter PRP Evidence Review Facility’s team is led by:
Jo Thompson Coon (Lead of the Review Facility)
Ruth Garside (Qualitative methods lead and project director)
G.J. Melendez-Torres (Quantitative methods lead and project director)

With a core team of reviewers:
Michael Nunns (Systematic Reviewer)
Liz Shaw (Systematic Reviewer)
Simon Briscoe (Information Specialist/Reviewer)
Hassanat Lawal (Research Assistant)

Dedicated patient and public involvement expertise:
Kristin Liabo (Patient and public involvement lead)
Malcom Turner (Patient and public representative)

And an extended team of researchers who provide additional specialist expertise:
Morwenna Rogers (Lead information specialist)
Rob Anderson (Realist review expertise)
Clare Hulme (Health economics expertise)
Ken Stein (Chair of Evidence Review Facility Expert Advisory Group)
Stuart Logan (Strategic advisor)

The Exeter PRP Evidence Review Facility administrator is Sue Whiffin

The Exeter PRP Evidence Review Facility works alongside the Evidence Review Facility Advisory Group (ERF-AG), who provide additional methodological and strategic guidance to support the delivery of our work. The group includes individuals from health, social care and public health backgrounds and provides valuable context and background information within the fast paced and changeable policy environment.

University press release: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/research/title_798529_en.html

Current projects:

What multi-disciplinary delivery models for Occupational Health services are effective for whom? An umbrella review

The aging UK population accompanied by the removal of default retirement age and increased prevalence of chronic conditions means there is an increased demand for workforce based support to enable individuals to continue their productive working lives for as long as they choose.  Occupational Health (OH) services have been identified as being key to ensuring that workplaces meet the physical and mental health needs of their employees.  Understanding the relative effectiveness of OH delivered interventions on return-to work outcomes, including intervention content and delivery mechanisms, will help inform the needs of those commissioning future OH services.  Whilst there is an abundance of systematic review evidence which seeks to evaluate single and multi-component OH interventions which aim to improve work and employment based outcomes, it is difficult to identify which aspects of the content and/or delivery of these interventions may be associated with success. In February 2021, we were asked to review the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness systematic review evidence that evaluates multi-disciplinary OH interventions aiming to improve work outcomes including return to work and reduced sickness absence.

Protocol available here

Anticipated completion date: January 2022.

Primary care clinicians’ perspectives on interacting with patients with gynaecological conditions or symptoms suggestive of gynaecological conditions: Protocol for a scoping review

Several recent reports have found that women do not feel listened to either by clinicians or at the system level when discussing health care concerns. Some women perceive that they are treated dismissively and that their symptoms are not taken seriously. Reports that have investigated how the health and social care system listens as a whole have also found that women have been disproportionately affected. In June 2021, we were asked to review the evidence on on primary care clinicians’ views on listening to and, more broadly, interacting with female patients, including with specific groups of female patients such as BAME, LGBTQ, older/younger and disabled women.

Protocol available here

Anticipated completion date: January 2022.

Understanding the processes and outcomes of redress and reconciliation following a life changing event: a qualitative evidence synthesis

We have been asked to conduct a qualitative evidence synthesis to address the following research questions:

  1. What aspects of the processes and outcomes of redress and reconciliation following a life changing event lead the individual and/or family to feel that they were/were not treated fairly and appropriately?
  2. How do these perceptions vary over time following the initial event?

Protocol available here

Anticipated completion: Summer 2022.

Past projects

Optimal prescribing of drugs to prevent cardiovascular disease and drugs that cause dependency: an evidence gap map

Evidence suggests that both the prescribing of statins and the taking of prescribed statins are not at optimal levels.  There is also evidence that many patients take drugs that cause dependency beyond the short periods for which they are licensed.  Furthermore, addiction to DCD is a priority area for reform, with a required focus on prescribing (and de-prescribing) practices.  In order to achieve optimal prescribing, it is essential to first understand the factors influencing the prescription and taking of drugs throughout the patient pathway. Scoping of the literature in this area reveals an array of systematic reviews covering aspects of the overarching topic of interest.  Prior to conducting further research, there is a need to clarify the state of the evidence in the area.

In April 2020, we were asked to map the quantitative and qualitative systematic review evidence available to inform the optimal prescribing of statins, anti-hypertensives and drugs which can cause dependency (DCD) and the point at which this evidence could be used to inform decision making in the patient care pathway for each type of medication.

For more details visit the project page.