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Identifying, Selecting, and Refining Topics.

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Methods Guide for Effectiveness and Comparative Effectiveness Reviews [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2008-.
AHRQ Methods for Effective Health Care.
2009 Apr 27.

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This paper discusses the identification, selection, and refinement of topics for comparative effectiveness systematic reviews within the Effective Health Care (EHC) Program of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which has been described in more detail elsewhere.3 In 2003, the U.S. Congress authorized AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program to conduct and support research on the outcomes, comparative clinical effectiveness, and appropriateness of pharmaceuticals, devices, and health care services. This program utilizes the AHRQ Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) Program, with 14 designated centers throughout North America that conduct comparative effectiveness systematic reviews, among other research products of the program. AHRQ has designated a Scientific Resource Center (SRC), currently housed at the Oregon EPC, to support the EHC Program as a whole. The SRC has specific responsibilities, including assisting AHRQ with all aspects of research topic development (Figure 1), providing scientific and technical support for systematic reviews and outcomes research, and collaborating with EHC stakeholder and program partners.

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