Consensus Exercise Identifying Priorities for Research in the Field of General Surgery of Childhood in the UK

For which topic were research priorities identified?

general surgery of childhood

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - United Kingdom

Why was it conducted at all?

The evidence base underlying clinical practice in children’s general surgery is poor and high-quality collaborative clinical research is required to address current treatment uncertainties.

What was the objective?

to identify and prioritize research questions within the field of general surgery of childhood

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 20 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: to identify research questions, survey: participants were invited to nominate research questions that they believed were important to answer in the field of general surgery of childhood, 226 questions covering a broad scope of children’s elective and emergency general surgery were submitted. Step 2: data processing: submissions were refined to 71 research questions, 38 questions related to elective and 33 to emergency conditions. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rate each question, top scoring 20 questions in elective and in emergency surgery were forwarded (total of 40 questions). Step 4: Delphi round 3: via meeting and survey, participants asked to re-rate the 40 questions based on group mean ratings, top 10 list of priority research questions generated for both elective and emergency general surgery of childhood

Which stakeholders took part?

General surgeons and specialist pediatric surgeons. Delphi round 1: 76 participants (54 consultants, 16 trainees, 6 specialist nurses). Delphi round 2: 168 participants (102 consultants, 40 trainees, 3 specialist nurses, 1 researcher, 22 unknown). Delphi round 3: 164 participants (90 consultants, 66 trainees, 1 researcher, 1 specialist nurse, 6 patient representatives).

How were stakeholders recruited?

A link to complete a questionnaire was distributed to members of the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons, the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, the Paediatric Surgery Trainees Research Network, the Paediatric Stoma Nurses Group, and directly to known personal contacts of the study team who work in the field of general surgery of childhood. The survey was also advertised via social media channels of individuals and these organizations.

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.