Development of a Clinician-Led Research Agenda for General Practice Nurses

Halcomb & Hickman (2010) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

general practice nursing

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Australia - Australia

Why was it conducted at all?

Significant descriptive research has now been conducted in Australia to describe the roles of practice nurses. In spite of its contribution to the body of knowledge, much of the research conducted to date has been driven by researcher interest and the focus on available funding, rather than strategic clinical priority areas. Recently, a number of projects based on national health priorities have been funded. A national general practice nurse conference highlighted a desire by practice nurses to develop strategic partnerships with the tertiary sector to evaluate current models of care as well as to formally investigate the efficacy of current interventions. An understanding of nurses' research priorities is essential to ensure that clinically focussed; strategic research is undertaken that meets the needs of nurses, consumers' policymakers, and politicians. Such research will assist in developing an evidence base for practice nurses in addition to optimising the quality of care provided.

What was the objective?

to identify and prioritize research issues as perceived by Australian general practice nurses

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 34 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: Delphi round 1: focus groups to identify primary areas or questions of importance, 72 areas of interest identified. Step 2: content analysis: refining items, final list of 53 items. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rate importance

Which stakeholders took part?

Practice nurses. Delphi round 1 via focus groups: 25 participants. Delphi Delphi round 2: 145 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Invitations to participate in the focus groups were conveyed to all Divisions of General Practice in the Sydney metropolitan area at the time of the study. Practice nurse project officers from these Divisions were asked to indicate their interest in hosting a focus group of their members. Practice nurses known by the Australian Practice Nurses Association Policy and Research Committee to be engaged in research were invited to participate in a ‘virtual' focus group Survey: Invitations to participate in the online survey and survey links were distributed to all Australian Divisions of General Practice and members of the Australian Practice Nurses Association. These organizations were asked to forward the information and link to practice nurses in their regular newsletters and correspondence and place a link to the survey on their websites. Also, participants were asked to forward information about the project to relevant colleagues.

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.