Developing UK Defence Rehabilitation Research Priorities: A 2020 Clinical Practitioner Engagement Exercise

For which topic were research priorities identified?

defense rehabilitation

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - United Kingdom

Why was it conducted at all?

Establishing research priorities help to address knowledge gaps and exploit emerging opportunities to develop a clinical evidence base. UK Defence Rehabilitation must respond to and incorporate an ever-evolving evidence base to meet the needs of its clinical practitioners and injured personnel. Therefore, Defence Rehabilitation research priorities, as determined by rehabilitation practitioners, should be periodically reviewed to ensure that priorities remain up to date while remaining sufficiently flexible to meet the dynamic/changing priorities of the DMS and UK Military.

What was the objective?

to review, reassess and rate the priorities highlighted and set by rehabilitation practitioners following the 2014 survey and to identify new rehabilitation research themes and topics reflecting 2020 priorities

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 11 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

October 2019 - April 2020

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

survey; workshop

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: workshop: small group discussions, participants were asked for their updated rating for each of the 2014 priority themes, new topics were also generated reflecting future research aspirations and priorities, priority topics were considered and debated during open discussion and a broad consensus emerged on future priority topics. Step 2: survey: participants asked for their ratings for the 2014 topics and emerging priorities to be taken forward from 2020. Step 3: data processing: thematic content analysis of all survey submissions, ranking of each topic in order of priority (by mean and standard deviation), new research topics ranked by frequency of nomination across all responses

Which stakeholders took part?

Physiotherapists, exercise rehabilitation instructors, doctors, occupational therapists, podiatrists and research staff. Workshop: 72 participants. Survey: 165 participants: 65% physiotherapists, 25% exercise rehabilitation instructors, 10% doctors, occupational therapists, podiatrists and research staff.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Survey: An online survey was circulated through the military chain of command to all DPHC clinical rehabilitation staff using the secure MODNET platform.

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.