Identifying Cancer Nursing Research Priorities using the Delphi Technique

Mcilfatrick & Keeney (2003) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

cancer nursing

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - United Kingdom

Why was it conducted at all?

Nursing research is an integral component of improving the care of people with cancer. However, for research to be successfully integrated and applied to practice, ownership and identification must come from those in practice. The need for local and national strategies for cancer nursing research and the importance of establishing priorities for cancer nursing research have been repeatedly acknowledged.

What was the objective?

to facilitate a strategic approach to cancer nursing research by identifying the research priorities of cancer nurses

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 20 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: Delphi round 1: survey asking participants to identify five research priorities that they felt were of particular importance for cancer nursing, 117 statements submitted. Step 2: data processing: thematic analysis: resulting in 57 research priorities organized into eight themes. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rate each priority. Step 4: Delphi round 3: participants were asked to re-rate based on group mean ratings from round 2

Which stakeholders took part?

Nurses. Delphi round 1: 60 participants. Delphi round 2: 47 participants. Delphi round 3: 43 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

The first Delphi round was administered to 130 delegates at a cancer nursing conference in northern Ireland. Questionnaires were included in conference packs and consent was obtained by respondents indicating (through a tick box) that they would be willing to receive further questionnaires. This group of conference delegates could be considered as representative of leading cancer organizations and professionals representing the cancer centre, cancer units, palliative care settings and community.

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.