A Clinical Research Priority Setting Study for Issues related to the Use of Methamphetamine and Emerging Drugs of Concern in Australia

Siefried et al. (2021) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

methamphetamine and emerging drugs

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Australia - Australia

Why was it conducted at all?

Methamphetamines and other emerging drugs of concern are global issues with public health implications affecting individuals, families, workplaces and communities. The Australian National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) reported that in Australia, 1.3 million people over the age of 14 years (approximately 6.3% of this population) reported any lifetime use of methamphetamine(s), while 1.4% reported consumption in the past 12-months.

What was the objective?

to gather a range of opinions, including those of affected people (consumers, concerned others) to identify clinical research priorities for methamphetamine and emerging drugs of concern in Australia, to guide the work of the National Centre for Clinical Research on Emerging Drugs (NCCRED)

What was the outcome?

a list of 3 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

February 2019 - March 2019

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

survey; workshop

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: collecting research priorities: via survey, participants were asked to list areas in the treatment and management of methamphetamine use and emerging drugs of concern that they felt would benefit from clinical research, survey included a structured process of creating clinical research questions based on PICOT format. Step 2: data analysis: thematic analysis, resulting in report outlining key themes and differing responses between stakeholders, check against evidence. Step 3: workshop: presentation of results to expert panel: expert panel convened to review the survey results, thematic analyses and rapid literature review and ranked topics against pre-established set of criteria

Which stakeholders took part?

Survey: 47 participants: researchers (53%, n=25), clinicians (45%, n=21), family/friend/caregiver of someone who uses/used methamphetamine or emerging drugs of concern (15%, n=7), someone who uses/has used methamphetamines or emerging drugs of concern (13%, n=6). Workshop: 12 participants: a person with lived experience, a person who identified as aboriginal, a psychologist, medical directors of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) services (inpatient and outpatient, two also holding academic appointments), a senior staff specialist (AOD clinician), a peer-organisation member, a clinical research coordinator, a clinical toxicologist.

How were stakeholders recruited?

A newsletter with a link to the online survey was emailed to the NCCRED mailing list and links to the survey were promoted and disseminated through NCCRED supporters/partners via organizational newsletters, Twitter feeds and other networks. Links to the survey were distributed to professional interest groups, medical chapters/colleges, consumer advocacy groups, government and non-governmental organizations. Recipients were invited to forward the email to other interested parties. The link was also available through the NCCRED website.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.