The top clinical research priorities in mental health: implementation and maintainance of a website with free access for researchers, academics, health professionals and consumers in Brazil

Melnik T1, Ferreira I2, Peron S2, Beatriz Neufeld C2, Peccin S3, Puga ME3
1Brazilian Cochrane Center, 2University of Sao Paulo, 3Federal University of Sao Paulo

Background:

Many clinical questions about the efficacy, effectiveness of mental disorders remains unanswered, therefore patients, careers and clinicians should work collaboratively to establish the most important research priorities. More often than not, the research agendas in low- and middle-income countries are seen to be driven by researcher interests and funding sources, with too often little, or no, serious relationship with prevailing mental-health priority concerns. This is particularly so because high-priority research questions do not necessarily arise from the concerns of evidence-based mental principles.

Objectives:

Implement and maintain a web site with free access for researchers, academics, health professionals and consumers with mental-health priority questions based on evidence organized by mental disorder.

Methods:

This project was registered in Biblioteca Nacional which is a documentary database resource in Brazil. Data from key experts, patients and consumers will be collected using qualitative and quantitative methods; a set of tools with each tailored to the roles and responsibilities of the selected informants will be use as guides during the interview. Additionally, we will conduct a comprehensive summary of implications for research sections of Cochrane, and non- Cochrane systematic reviews (SR) and guidelines, organized by mental disorder. Researchers familiar with Cochrane SR methodology will develop a construct of these questions in a PICO (Participants, Intervention, Comparator, Outcome) format list. We will also include Cochrane Clinical Answers that address mental health.

Results:

This project will be part of a larger objective to identify priority research questions in public health in Brazil. It will be carried out in the public and private sectors, covering key experts in health, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private health facilities, public and private provider associations, as well as researchers and consumers in Brazil.

Conclusions:

The conclusions of SRs about the efficacy, effectiveness of mental health treatments are often limited by moderate or low methodological quality of included trials and the absence of key comparisons for clinical use, so additional work is necessary to help researchers in development of their primary studies.

Patient or healthcare consumer involvement:

This project involves patients and consumers in Brazil.