Canadian Therapists' Priorities for Clinical Research: A Delphi Study

Miles-Tapping et al. (1990) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

physical therapy

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

North America - Canada

Why was it conducted at all?

Research in physical therapy is usually driven by opportunity, by funding, or by convenience. Clinicians express frustration because little published research seems to apply to practice. When the staff of our physical therapy department began to plan a research program, there were many ideas for projects, but funds were scarce and few clinicians had research experience. There was no consensus on which projects and questions should receive priority. The purpose of this study was to use a Delphi technique to allow SUE physical therapists to reach a consensus on priorities for clinically relevant research.

What was the objective?

to narrow the research questions to a reasonable number, to give all staff therapists an opportunity to suggest research priorities for the department, and to provide accurate information for guiding decision-making regarding future research

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 11 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 list up to three highest-priority questions regarding the clinical practice of physical therapy. Step 2: data processing: resulting in list of 58 questions. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rate each question along 3 criteria, new list of prioritized questions was created, stem-and-leaves method was then used to select top 11 questions for the next round. Step 4: Delphi round 3: participants were asked to reconsider ranking of questions, participants were asked to revise ranking if necessary. Step 5: literature check to determine whether any of the final 11 questions had already been answered

Which stakeholders took part?

Physical therapists. Delphi round 1: 33 participants. Delphi round 2: 40 participants. Delphi round 3: 29 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

No information provided.

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.