A Delphi Study of Research Priorities in the Clinical Practice of Physiotherapy

Walker (1994) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?


In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - United Kingdom

Why was it conducted at all?

Much of current medical practice is under-researched and physiotherapy is no exception. Physiotherapy research has been described as ‘small-scale', ‘fragmented' and ‘possibly duplicated' (Frazer, 1990). A more co ordinated approach might enable a more rapid enhancement of OF research base. Identification of priority areas could facilitate this process and be of value as a contribution to the formulation of a research strategy for the profession. This in turn could be of value in attracting funding and other resources.

What was the objective?

to identify research priorities in physiotherapy

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 11 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: Delphi round 1: participants were asked to select 10 areas of clinical practice in rank order most worthy of research. Step 2: data processing: top 11 items for each group (physiotherapists with research expertise and newly qualified physiotherapists) moved forward. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to allocate a score (0-100) to each item to indicate its relative worthiness for research. Step 4: Delphi round 3: participants were asked to re-rank areas

Which stakeholders took part?

Physiotherapists. Delphi round 1: 18 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

The respondents were identified from a list provided by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).

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.