European Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing Research Priorities: An e-Delphi Study

Wielenga et al. (2015) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

neonatal intensive care nursing

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?


Why was it conducted at all?

Neonatal intensive care nursing needs strategic directions and a common goal for strengthening and prioritising their nursing practice. WHO formulated the goals of improved health outcomes through the provision of competent, culturally sensitive, and evidence-based neonatal nursing and midwifery services. A way to achieve these goals is through research initiatives. In addition, nurses, midwifes and parents can be involved in this process to meet their needs, and to encourage adhering to the cornerstone of collaborative action. If researchers do not know about the most important problems affecting neonatal intensive care (as described by neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses across Europe), then research may be directed in non-priority areas. Furthermore, research priorities are constantly dynamic entities that change over time and differ culturally. It is therefore crucial to determine neonatal intensive care nursing research priorities within Europe.

What was the objective?

to identify and prioritize neonatal intensive care nursing research topics across Europe using an e-Delphi technique

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 20 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

September 2012 - February 2013

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: Delphi round 1: survey asking participants to list a minimum of three and maximum of five priority research topics for NICU nursing, 285 research topics submitted. Step 2: data processing: content analysis, research statements clustered into thematic domains, resulting in 43 research topics in eight domains. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rank topics and domains. Step 4: Delphi round 3: participants were asked to re-rate topics and domains based on group mean rating of round 2

Which stakeholders took part?

NICU clinical nurses, managers, educators, researchers. Delphi round 1: 75 participants. Delphi round 2: 68 participants. Delphi round 3: 53 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in 17 European countries were invited to participate. Contact details (names and email addresses only) were obtained through the ESPNIC nursing membership registry, through professional contacts and by searching the worldwide web.

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.