Research on the Comparative Management of Uterine Fibroid Disease
Despite the prevalence and possible complications of uterine fibroids (leiomyomata), there is limited information regarding the effectiveness of existing therapies. Currently available literature is insufficient to draw conclusions regarding the relative benefits, harms, or costs of the available choices, making it difficult for decision makers to select the appropriate treatments.
In an effort to address these evidence gaps, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) provided funding to the Outcome DEcIDE Center (Outcome) and the Center for Medical Technology Policy (CMTP), for a project entitled, Research on the Comparative Management of Uterine Fibroid Disease.
The stakeholder engagement and priority-setting phases of the project focused on developing a consultative partnership among multiple stakeholders, identifying key evidence gaps, and prioritizing research questions related to the treatment and management of uterine fibroids. The project team, in consultation with the AHRQ EHC DEcIDE program staff, assembled two distinct but interrelated stakeholder groups for these tasks: Technical Working Group (TWG) subcommittee to provide technical expertise and prepare for the priority-setting meeting (eight members), and a diverse 34 member Stakeholder Committee for priority setting.
The primary goal of the TWG was to narrow the list of evidence gaps identified from systematic reviews to a manageable number to present to the Stakeholder Committee. The TWG also assisted the project team in translating the evidence gaps into research questions, identifying current or planned studies that might affect the relative importance of a specific question, and developing appropriate background materials for the Stakeholder Committee. The primary objective of the Stakeholder Committee was to identify the highest priority research questions for uterine fibroid disease treatment and management. The Committee also provided information on issues to consider in developing a research protocol to study the clinical and/or comparative effectiveness of uterine fibroid disease diagnosis, management, care coordination, and treatment.
A white paper describing the overall priority setting process and the components and requirements for the development of a priorities prospective clinical research agenda is available on AHRQ’s website.