Identifying Research Priorities for Midwifery in Ireland

Butler et al. (2009) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?


In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - Ireland

Why was it conducted at all?

Recognition of need to develop midwifery research parallels the move from a hospital-based apprenticeship model for midwifery training to university-based education programmes in Ireland. An inclusive and representative approach was sought to capture the voice of all relevant stakeholders and to ensure that the priorities identified would focus on the issues facing midwifery in the Irish context now and in the near future.

What was the objective?

to identify research priorities for midwifery in Ireland in the short, medium and long term

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 30 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: participants were asked to identify up to five of the most important topics, issues, concerns, problems or questions for midwifery across three areas (clinical, management and education) that could be addressed through research, then participants were asked to rate each item as moderately important, very important or extremely important. Step 2: data processing: content analysis. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rate the importance. Step 4: round 3: participants were asked to re-rate based on own ratings and group ratings, also asked to identify the time frame (short, medium or long term)

Which stakeholders took part?

Midwives employed in professional practice in Ireland in clinical, management or education roles. Delphi round 1: 142 participants. Delphi round 2: 121 participants. Delphi round 3: 98 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Participants were sought nationally over a 10- week period through advertisements in the national press, two professional newsletters mailed to all registered midwives, the distribution of flyers in a professional journal published by the Irish Nurses' organization, and the distribution of flyers and posters by post and electronically to all health board nursing and midwifery planning and development units, community care areas, and third level institutions, along with requests to recipients to distribute flyers and posters widely within their organization.

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.