Collaboration, Choice, Care: The Contraception Priority Setting Partnership (PSP)

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?

Most women spend at least 30 years of their lives avoiding unintended pregnancy. Improved access to contraception has revolutionised women's lives, allowing them to pursue education, careers and families on their own terms and in their own time. Yet, as contraceptive care evolves, many questions remain unanswered by research.

What was the objective?

to create a top 10 list of research uncertainties for contraceptive care, identified and prioritized by service users, their partners and healthcare professionals

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 10 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

April 2016 - April 2017

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

JLA method

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: setting up PSP: steering group established protocol and agreed on scope and project timeline, partners approached. Step 2: collecting uncertainties: survey asking service users, their partners and healthcare professionals what questions they wanted research to answer: "Tell us the questions you want contraception research to answer", participants were asked to provide questions in 5 areas in contraceptive care, 582 potential research questions submitted. Step 3: data processing: all questions reviewed and grouped into broad themes, out-of-scope removed, similar questions grouped, re-formulated into summary/indicative questions, check against evidence. Step 4: interim ranking: via survey, participants were asked to prioritize the 57 questions according to their importance for research resulting in shortlist of 29 questions, to ensure equal weighting for each respondent type the points for each of the 57 questions were added together and summed separately for each respondent category. Step 5: final prioritization: workshop: group discussion with nominal group technique, series of small and large group discussions and ranking exercises

Which stakeholders took part?

Service users, their partners and healthcare professionals. Survey: 207 participants: 47% (n=97) people who use contraception or their partners,.8% (n=59) healthcare professionals providing contraception services in general practice, community clinics or specialist services (nurses, midwives, doctors and healthcare support workers), 25% (n=51) both a healthcare professional and a user of contraceptive services. Interim ranking: 407 participants: 46% used or had thought about using contraceptive care (or their partner had), 21% healthcare professionals working in the area of contraceptive care and 33% fell into both categories. Workshop: 12 service users (across the reproductive life-course including men, pregnant women and those who had already had children) and 12 healthcare professionals (midwifery, specialist contraception services, general practice, practice nursing, community pharmacy and obstetrics and gynaecology).

How were stakeholders recruited?

The PSP partners promoted the survey on their websites and via social media to reach healthcare professionals and service users across a range of demographics, care settings and countries.

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 a steering group. The steering group consisted of 20 members: patient and service user representatives, healthcare professionals, and researchers. The members designed and promoted the survey, were involved in data processing and agreed on priorities to be taken forward to the workshop.