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

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)

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:

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 a systematic review and synthesis of evidence to understand the factors that influence the prescription and/or taking of drugs to prevent cardiovascular disease and reliance on drugs that cause dependency, there is a need to clarify the state of the evidence in the area.  

In the first stage of this project we therefore aim 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.  

The protocol has been registered on the Open Science Framework and is also available in the Open Research Exeter repository.

Anticipated completion: February 2021.