Identifying Priority Areas for Longitudinal Research in Childhood Obesity: Delphi Technique Survey

Byrne et al. (2008) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

childhood obesity

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Australia - Australia

Why was it conducted at all?

Reaping benefits, rather than frustrations, could be aided by careful prioritization as to what questions may best be addressed via longitudinal research. As different individuals and groups will always prioritise differently, this needs to be a collective and transparent process.

What was the objective?

to answer the question what childhood and adolescent obesity research questions remain to be addressed through longitudinal research

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 15 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

January 2005 - March 2005

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: Delphi round 1: participants were asked to list any research ideas for childhood and adolescent obesity research. Step 2: data processing: responses were collated. Step 3: Delphi round 2: survey containing all the ideas generated in round 1, participants were asked to refine each research idea, to comment on their strengths and weaknesses and to identify any additional research ideas. Step 4: Delphi round 3: survey with input from round 2, participants asked for additions and clarifications, ideas were refined and summarized into 15 final research ideas grouped into four thematic domains. Step 5: Delphi round 4: participants were asked to rate importance of each research idea. Step 6: Delphi round 5: prioritization phase was repeated with delegates to the 2005 conference of the Australian Society for the Study of Obesity

Which stakeholders took part?

Childhood obesity researchers, medical practitioners, dietitians, other healthcare professionals interested in obesity research, treatment and public health initiatives directed at the prevention of obesity. Delphi round 1: 29 participants. Delphi round 2: 21 participants. Delphi round 3: 18 participants. Delphi round 4: 39 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Delphi rounds 1-3: Participants were members and associate members of the Australian Child and Adolescent Obesity Research Network (ACAORN). Delphi round 4: Participants were with delegates to the 2005 conference of the Australian Society for the Study of Obesity (ASSO).

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.