Do Different Stakeholder Groups Share Mental Health Research Priorities? A Four-Arm Delphi Study

Owens et al. (2008) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

mental health

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - United Kingdom

Why was it conducted at all?

Despite considerable investment in research priority setting within diverse fields of healthcare, little is known about the extent to which different stakeholder groups share research priorities. Conflicting priorities may jeopardize stakeholder engagement in research.

What was the objective?

to identify the research priorities of different stakeholder groups within mental health care and examine the extent and nature of agreement between them

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 29 research topics

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: 3 separate Delphi rounds for each of the 4 stakeholder groups: mental health service users, informal carers, mental health practitioners and service managers, Delphi round 1: survey asking: Please list up to five topic areas relating to mental health which you think should be priority areas for research. Step 2: data processing: thematic analysis. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rate each topic. Step 4: Delphi round 3: same items as in round 2, participants were asked to re-rate based on group median rating

Which stakeholders took part?

Mental health service users, informal carers, mental health practitioners and service managers. Delphi round 1: 109 participants. Delphi round 2: 108 participants. Delphi round 3: 106 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Service users and carers who had expressed an interest in research and development were identified through the Trusts Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and its Patient and Public Involvement Manager, and were invited to participate. Visits were also made to service user and carer groups across the whole area served by the Trust to explain the nature of the consultation and invite people to take part. Those willing to participate were asked by the project worker to complete the first questionnaire there and then. At each subsequent round, the project worker again attended group meetings and asked participants to complete the questionnaire on the spot. Practitioners and managers who had shown an interest in or commitment to research were invited to participate and to extend the invitation to their colleagues. The practitioners group included members of five professions involved in mental health care: psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists and approved social workers. Health practitioners and managers questionnaires were distributed by electronic or internal mail.

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.