The relation between health research output and burden of disease in Palestine: A systematic review

Loai Albarqouni, Khamis Elessi, Niveen Abu-Rmeileh

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Highest priority should be given to research on conditions responsible for the greatest disease burden. This is particularly important in settings where resources are scarce. The aim of this study was to assess the association between research output and disease burden in the occupied Palestinian territory and to identify the conditions that are under-investigated or over-investigated, if any. METHODS: We searched PubMed and Scopus for reports of original research relevant to human health or health care that was authored by researchers affiliated with Palestinian institutions and published between Jan 1, 2000, and Dec 31, 2015. We categorised the health condition studied in included articles using the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) taxonomy. Data about the burden of disease (percentage of deaths and disability-adjusted life-years [DALYs]) were obtained from the Palestine profile in the GBD study. We examined the degree of discordance between the observed number of published articles for each disease or health condition with the expected number based on the proportion of disease burden for that disease or health condition. FINDINGS: We identified 2469 records and excluded 1650 records after screening titles and abstracts. We included 511 of the remaining 819 full-text articles in our review. Research output was poorly associated with disease burden, irrespective of whether measured in DALYs (ρ: -0·116; p=0·7) or death (0·217; p=0·5). Cardiovascular disease, maternal and neonatal health, and cancer accounted for 212 (67%) deaths per 100 000 population in the occupied Palestinian territory, but this was addressed in only 117 (23%) articles. INTERPRETATION: We found evidence of research waste, as measured by a mismatch between the health burden of disease or health condition and the number of published research reports about that disease or condition in Palestine. National research priority setting should be developed to meet the local community's need of quality evidence in order to develop independent and informed health policies.None.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S23
JournalThe Lancet
Issue numberS2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2018
EventThe Lancet Palestinian Health Alliance Eighth Annual Conference: Health of Palestinians - Birzeit, Palestine, State of
Duration: 15 Mar 201716 Mar 2017
Conference number: 8th


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