Determining Mental Health Research Priorities in a Queensland Region: An Inclusive and Iterative Approach with Mental Health Service Clinicians, Consumers and Carers

McAllister et al. (2012) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

mental health

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Australia - Australia

Why was it conducted at all?

Australia has national and state mental health plans that guide service development and promote quality in its public mental health system. Interestingly though, Australia still lacks a well-managed, priority-driven program of research in the mental health sector. This lack is perhaps indicative of the historical relative lack of funding for mental health research compared with other areas of health, at a national level. As a result, approaches to research tend to be ad hoc and reactive to emergent problems.

What was the objective?

to identify and prioritize research questions of importance to the local public mental health service and its members, to compare local priorities with national and state research agendas, and to identify needs relating to research capacity

What was the outcome?

a list of 4 research areas

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: Delphic process with overall 29 focus groups with 3 rounds, Delphi round 1: participants were asked: What are the top priority research ideas you have for the Sunshine Coast Health Service District Mental Health Service?. Step 2: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to identify their most important ideas from a list of 16 ideas generated in round 1. Step 3: shorter list of 10 items, participants were asked to identify their top three topics

Which stakeholders took part?

MHS clinicians, MHS consumers (persons who are or have accessed the mental health service) and carers of MHS consumers. 117 participants: 47 clinicians, 49 consumers and 21 carers.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Tailored information sessions, brochures, and word-of-mouth advertising over a period of 3 months were used to recruit participants. Overall, a purposeful sampling strategy was utilized.

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.