Identification of Research Priorities in Infertility and Assisted Reproduction: An International, Multicenter Study

For which topic were research priorities identified?

infertility and assisted reproduction

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - Denmark; Europe - Italy; Europe - Spain; South America - Brazil; South America - Colombia

Why was it conducted at all?

Although priority setting partnerships have been used to identify specific research priorities for patients with several chronic diseases like Parkinson's (Deane et al., 2014), spinal cord injury (van Middendorp et al., 2016) or stroke survivors (Pollock et al., 2014), such exercises have only recently started to appear in the general context of infertility, through the Priority Setting Partnership for Infertility initiative. Nevertheless, infertility has been estimated to affect up to one in eight women and one in ten men attempting to conceive (Datta et al., 2016); the ageing Western population and parenthood postponement (Schmidt et al., 2012) indicates that the number of people needing treatment to conceive will increase in the future. As it becomes urgent to include infertile patients in the research agenda decision making at both international and local level, we carried out a survey.

What was the objective?

to identify a list of patient needs in infertility and assisted reproduction research

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 10 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: survey: participants were asked to identify research questions relevant to them in the field of infertility and ART. Step 2: data analysis: longlist of the top 30 main interest areas were identified, for the selection of the shortlist some items closely related were grouped together and their frequencies added, 10 research questions related to each of the top 10 research topics were constructed

Which stakeholders took part?

People attending a fertility center for ART consultation. 954 participants: most of the patients did not have children at the time of the survey (523, 59%), while 51 (5.7%) were pregnant. Sixty (6.3%) patients had not started treatment, 579 (61.3%) performed a treatment with their own gametes and 304 (32.2%) recurred to gametes donation.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Depending on legal and ethical requirement of each participating country, patients were contacted retrospectively (Spain, Italy, Colombia) or prospectively (Spain, Denmark, and Brazil).

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.