Canadian Integrative Oncology Research Priorities: Results of a Consensus-Building Process

Weeks et al. (2013) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

integrative oncology

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

North America - Canada

Why was it conducted at all?

In Canada, many diverse models of integrative oncology care have emerged in response to the growing number of cancer patients who combine complementary therapies with their conventional medical treatments. The increasing interest in integrative oncology emphasizes the need to engage stakeholders and to work toward consensus on research priorities and a collaborative research agenda. The Integrative Canadian Oncology Research Initiative initiated a consensus-building process to meet that need and to develop an action plan that will implement a Canadian research agenda.

What was the objective?

to identify specific research questions that form a coherent research program related to models of integrative oncology

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 15 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

Delphi; interview; workshop

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: Delphi round 1: participants selected up to three priority research areas from a pre-identified list and provided suggestions for priority topics within each area. Step 2: Delphi round 2: participants revisited priority research areas and selected up to three priority research topics within each area. Step 3: Delphi round 3: participants ranked priority research areas and topics in their perceived order of importance to Canadian integrative oncology practice and policy, consensus was achieved concerning five priority research areas. Step 4: interviews: to explore emergent ideas about integrative oncology and related research in Canada and to identify any possibly divergent perspectives, participants were asked to reflect on priority research areas and topics that emerged from Delphi survey, to give an opinion about rankings of areas and topics and to add missing topics, participants agreed on the five priority research areas from Delphi survey. Step 5: workshop: before workshop participants were given background readings, during workshop small group discussions and brainstorming exercise using paired speed-dating format

Which stakeholders took part?

Cancer researchers, biomedical and complementary medicine practitioners, patient advocates, knowledge users. Delphi round 1: 81 participants. Delphi round 2: 52 participants. Delphi round 3: 48 participants. Interviews: 6 participants. Workshop: 19 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Delphi participants were recruited from attendees at the 8th Annual Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology, an e-mail list maintained by the Canadian Interdisciplinary Network for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research, and the personal contacts of the workshop organizers. participants had to self-identify as actively engaged in the integrative oncology field. Interviewees were selected to ensure representation from all stakeholder groups and a variety of professional backgrounds.

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.