Addressing the Evidence Gap in Stroke Rehabilitation for Patient Complexity: A Preliminary Research Agenda

For which topic were research priorities identified?

stroke rehabilitation

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

North America - Canada

Why was it conducted at all?

Multimorbidity, compounded by psychosocial issues, makes treatment and recovery for stroke increasingly complex. Recent research and health policy documents called for a better understanding of the needs of this patient population, and for the development and testing of models of care that meet their needs. A research agenda specific to complexity is required.

What was the objective?

to identify and prioritize research questions that meet the information needs of stakeholders, and to develop a research agenda specific to stroke rehabilitation and patient complexity

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 16 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

2 days

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: workshop with modified Delphi consisting of 2 rounds of question generation and 2 rounds of question prioritization, Delphi round 1: group discussions on research priorities: participants were asked: "Thinking of the complex patients that were discussed this morning, what are the questions (clinical and research) that need to be addressed?". Step 2: Delphi round 2: using World Café method participants were asked to expand priority lists by circulating through room and discussing and adding new topics, 120 questions identified. Step 3: Delphi round 3: participants were asked to select approximately ten questions they perceived as the highest priority questions from the lists generated in the first two rounds. Step 4: Delphi round 4: participants were asked to select a topic based on interest or expertise to narrow down priority questions to the top three questions. Step 5: priority questions presented to Think Tank participants in plenary format to solicit feedback, participants then developed concept maps of research priority topics showing how priority research questions intersect, diverge, and relate to one another, lastly research framework developed

Which stakeholders took part?

Researchers, clinicians and policymakers. Workshop: 43 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

75 individuals were invited based on research funding, clinical experience, and/or publications in stroke care, rehabilitation, complexity, multimorbidity, and reputation within the Canadian stroke sector. Individuals responsible for design and delivery of stroke rehabilitation services (e.g. best practice conveners, clinical administration, policy makers), were invited as well as individuals recommended by project team and/or individuals who received an invitation to the Think Tank.

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.