Determining Priorities for Research to Improve Fundamental Care on Hospital Wards

Ball et al. (2016) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

fundamental care

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - United Kingdom

Why was it conducted at all?

The provision of high quality fundamental care in hospitals is a top priority for the NHS. Recent reports and investigations highlight that at times care has fallen below standard. It is unclear what research should be prioritised to improve care.

What was the objective?

to involve patients/carers/public, clinicians and other stakeholders to identify issues that are priorities for research which could improve fundamental care in hospital

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 15 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

focus group; interview; survey; workshop

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: creating a theoretical framework by identifying and defining fundamental care. Step 2: survey and interviews. Interview with the guiding questions: How can we improve care on hospital wards? What do you see as the main issues in fundamental care?, participants were asked what they saw as the main issues in fundamental care, asking for examples of good and poor care (and what differentiates the two), and about what issues should be prioritized for research to help improve care on hospital wards. Survey: containing list of 14 care activities based on literature review in Step 1, participants were asked to indicate to what extent they considered 14 different care activities to be a priority for research. Step 3: data processing: data analysis of interviews and surveys: 76 emerging themes with 178 sub-topics. Step 4: longlist created: based on frequencies of topics mentioned in interviews to identify the most frequently recurring themes, and based on survey results to identify which were most highly prioritized-overall and by patient/public participants in contrast to staff participants, longlist of 39 research areas compiled, longlist further reduced to 15 research areas by research team. Step 5: workshop: to identify the relative priority of the 15 shortlisted topics and to identify the top 5 research topics, small group discussions using nominal group technique, voting: 10 votes: 3 dots once to allocate to their most important topic, 2 dots once for their second most important topic, and each of the remaining five dots could be distributed singularly elsewhere, small group discussions on six highest-ranking topics, discussion on how the topic could be developed into a research question

Which stakeholders took part?

Survey: members of the public, patients, and carers (29% of participants), registered nurses (30%), other staff (22%), students (7%), educators/researchers (6%) and others (6%). Interviews: 97 participants (members of the public, patients, carers and a mix of staff). Workshop: 39 participants: 23 patients and members of the public, 16 staff members.

How were stakeholders recruited?

The PPI lead generated a matrix identifying potential contacts across the three geographic areas covered by CLAHRC Wessex, for the following groups: minority ethnic groups (including asylum seekers and refugees), frail elderly people, people with sensory and physical disabilities, people living with long term conditions, people with learning disabilities, and people with dementia. People from these groups in at least one area were invited to take part in the consultation either through the survey or if this was not feasible (for example, for people with dementia), visits were arranged in order for the Patient Leader and PPI Lead to discuss recent hospital experiences and priorities in an accessible way.

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.