A National Research Agenda for Pre-Hospital Emergency Medical Services in the Netherlands: A Delphi-Study

van de Glind et al. (2016) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

pre-hospital emergency medical services

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - Netherlands

Why was it conducted at all?

In pre-hospital Emergency Medical Services (EMS) more research is needed to direct and underpin care delivery and inform policy. To target future research efforts, this study aimed to determine future research priorities with representatives of the EMS field.

What was the objective?

to develop a national pre-hospital emergency medical services research agenda to determine future research priorities in the Netherlands

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 9 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

May 2013 - June 2014

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: literature review: national framework of prehospital EMS research topics reviewed, consisting of 11 categories and 48 research topics. Step 2: Delphi round 1: list of 48 research topics, participants were asked to rate each topic. Step 3: Delphi round 2: with 25 highest ranked topics of round 1, participants were asked to select their top 10 topics. Step 4: Delphi round 3: 25 topics, participants were asked to select top 3 topics. Step 5: Delphi round 4: list of 12 research topics, participants were asked to rate the importance of each topic

Which stakeholders took part?

Medical managers of ambulance care organizations, ambulance nurses, ambulance drivers, ambulance care dispatchers, physician assistants, nurse specialists, nurse educators, researchers. Delphi round 1: 59 participants. Delphi round 2: 60 participants. Delphi round 3: 58 participants. Delphi round 4: 60 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Purposeful sampling was used to recruit different prehospital EMS professionals in the Delphi panel. Other groups closely related to pre-hospital EMS were recruited by sending a letter to the board of the national associations of (medical) professions or other institutions. The project team asked them to assign a delegate on behalf of their association to participate in the 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.