Purpose: An estimated 85% of research is of limited value or wasted because the wrong research questions are addressed. We sought to identify research gaps using American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon (AAOS) clinical practice guidelines Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee and Surgical Management of Osteoarthritis of the Knee. Using these recommendations, we conducted searches of ClinicalTrials.gov to discover the extent to which new and ongoing research addresses areas of deficiency. Methods: For each recommendation in the AAOS guidelines, we created participants, intervention, comparator, outcomes questions, and search strings using a systematic process. Searches were then conducted of ClinicalTrials.gov to locate relevant studies. Results: Our searches of ClinicalTrials.gov returned 945 studies for surgical and 1416 for non-surgical management of osteoarthritis. Of the 945 studies returned using our search string for surgical trials, 186 (20%) were relevant to 30 (79%) of the 38 recommendations made within the surgical management guideline. Of the 1416 studies returned using our search for non-surgical trials, 360 (25%) were relevant to 16 (89%) of the 18 recommendations made within the conservative management guideline. Conclusions: The development of clinical practice guidelines is a unique opportunity to simultaneously redefine day-to-day decision-making and provide a critical analysis of the status of the literature. Upon our search of the literature since the guidelines introduction, we have found that some inconclusive areas have received more attention than others. Our results should guide researchers towards conducting research on the topics most in need and, by doing so, strengthen the clinical practice guideline recommendations.
- Clinical practice guidelines
- Research pipeline