Chartered Society of Physiotherapy's Identification of National Research Priorities for Physiotherapy using a Modified Delphi Technique

Rankin et al. (2012) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?


In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - United Kingdom

Why was it conducted at all?

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy recognises the importance of regularly reviewing the evidence base for physiotherapy and ensuring that research is focused to areas of highest priority.

What was the objective?

to define research priorities to strategically direct and maximize opportunities to develop the evidence base for physiotherapy practice

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 12 research topics

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: survey asking participants to name up to five priorities and supporting statements for research topics for physiotherapy considering evidence of clinical effectiveness, burden of the disease, likelihood of implementation of findings and current evidence base in relation to service delivery and cost effectiveness. Step 2: data processing: content analysis, 529 research topics identified. Step 3: Delphi round 2: survey: participants were asked to rate 257 topics. Step 4: Delphi round 3: participants were asked to re-rate 105 topics

Which stakeholders took part?

Stakeholders from clinical practice, research, education, management/service provision, service commissioning/planning/purchasing, policymaking, guideline panel membership, and user representation reflecting the three core areas of physiotherapy practice: musculoskeletal, neurology, cardiorespiratory and medical rehabilitation, and physical health and wellbeing. Delphi round 1: 154 participants. Delphi round 2: 144 participants. Delphi round 3: 122 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Recruitment to the Steering Group included an open call to CSP members individually and through alerts in all CSP media. nominees were asked to provide a brief CV and statement as to how they fulfilled pre-specified criteria. The CSP's Research & Development Committee in collaboration with the project team rated nominations to inform selection. All Steering Group members were invited to be expert panel participants. Expert panel participants were selected for their specific expertise relevant to each expert panel's area of practice. Where possible, the expert panels included participants from all four UK countries. The expert panels were selected by four similarly named Steering Groups at a face-to-face meeting.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders not only participated but were also actively involved in the research prioritization process: They were part of four steering groups. Each group (one for each of the 4 core areas of physiotherapy) consisted of approximately 12 members representing clinical practice, research, education, management/service provision, service commissioning/planning/purchasing, policymaking, guideline panel membership, user representation (users of physiotherapy services, charities and patient organizations).