Recommendations from Cochrane reviews for improving future trials on anesthesia and pain: a meta-research study

Renata Runjic, Mia Plenkovic, Stefania Pirosca, M. Clarke, Shaun Treweek, Livia Puljak* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cochrane systematic reviews (CSRs) have a section ‘Implications for research’where the authors make suggestions for improving future research. We assessed the prevalence and time dynamics of different recommendations in the CSRs about anaesthesia and pain.
Methods: We included all CSRs published by the Cochrane Anaesthesia Group (CA Group) and Cochrane Pain and Palliative Care Group (PaPaS Group) before July 17, 2020. We analysed recommendations for improving future research listed in the ‘Implications for research’ section of these CSRs and categorized recommendations for improvements.
Results: We analyzed 370 reviews. Four categories of recommendations were present in more than 40% of reviews. Most reviews recommended a larger sample size and better outcome choice, study design and choice of future intervention. These recommendations gradually increased in frequency in PaPaS Group and mainly decreased in CA Group.
Conclusions: Recommendations from CSRs offer useful advice for trialists designing new trials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669–677
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Comparative Effectiveness Research
Issue number9
Early online date13 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Financial & competing interests disclosure
The authors have no relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript. This includes employment, consultancies, honoraria, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, grants or patents received or pending or royalties.

No writing assistance was utilized in the production of this manuscript.


  • Anaesthesia
  • Pain
  • Cochrane Systematic Review
  • Implications for Research


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