A Delphi Study to Determine Rehabilitation Research Priorities for Older Adults with Cancer

For which topic were research priorities identified?

rehabilitation for older adults with cancer

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

North America - USA

Why was it conducted at all?

Many older adults present with preexisting conditions that can be exacerbated by cancer and its treatment. As such, many of these individuals will develop treatment-related functional impairments and disabilities. Rehabilitation services and exercise interventions have been shown to reduce disability in many populations. However, the evidence for cancer rehabilitation is less abundant and the efficacy of specific cancer rehabilitation interventions remains largely unexplored. The dearth of research in cancer rehabilitation for older adults hampers practitioners' ability to deliver evidence-based care. There is a need for a coordinated approach to developing research programs to create the evidence for targeted rehabilitative care for older adults with cancer.

What was the objective?

to solicit expert opinions and develop consensus around the research that is needed to improve cancer rehabilitation for older adults

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 30 research questions

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 generate up to five research questions that they felt were of the highest priority in geriatric cancer rehabilitation and asked to explain why each question was of particular importance, 117 research questions submitted. Step 2: data processing: list consolidated yielding 63 unique research questions grouped into five categories. Step 3: Delphi round 2: survey with 63 unique questions, participants were asked to rate the questions and asked to identify and rank the five questions they deemed to be most important to the field of geriatric cancer rehabilitation, for round 3 survey omitting questions if the 75th percentile was > 4 or less than two people selected the question for their five most important questions, 33 questions omitted, leaving 30 research questions to be included in round 3. Step 4: Delphi round 3: survey with 30 questions: participants were asked to rate the questions and identify and rank the five questions they deemed to be most important to the field of geriatric cancer rehabilitation

Which stakeholders took part?

Members of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Delphi round 1: 32 participants. Delphi round 2: 26 participants. Delphi round 3: 20 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Researchers sent a preliminary email to all of the members of the ACRM. The email described the study and asked potential participants to respond to the email if they wanted to receive a formal invitation to participate in the Delphi study.

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.