Identifying Research Priorities for Older People's Mental Health Services

For which topic were research priorities identified?

mental health services

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - United Kingdom

Why was it conducted at all?

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) (the Trust) is one of the leading providers of mental health services for the region of East Anglia in England, UK. Recently, a new research development programme was launched aiming to produce Trust-led research. The identification of research priorities according to people working in and using Trust services will help to inform future research projects and funding applications led by the Trust, ensuring a justified direction of research to produce outcomes directly relevant to the local area.

What was the objective?

to identify the top 10 research priorities according to people with experience using or working in services for dementia and older adult mental health

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 10 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

JLA method

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: initial collection of research interests: survey to collect research interests and ideas, participants were asked to submit research ideas relating to older people's mental health and/or dementia in four categories: treatments or interventions, symptoms, managing the condition on a day to day basis and other, 418 research ideas submitted. Step 2: data processing: collation and analysis of research interests, checked for scope, in PICO format transformed, resulting in 86 research questions, check against evidence, no questions excluded. Step 3: interim ranking: via survey, participants were asked to choose and rank their personal top 10 research questions from the longlist of 86, resulting in shortlist of 26 questions. Step 4: final prioritization: workshop: small-group and whole-group ranking exercises with nominal group technique, small groups asked to prioritize the full list of 26 research questions, small group rankings combined to aggregate ranking, new small groups formed, plenary consensus on top 10

Which stakeholders took part?

Service users with dementia and mental health difficulties, informal carers, family and friends of service users, clinical staff working in the Trust. Survey: 126 participants. Interim ranking: 58 participants. Workshop: 11 participants including 3 people with dementia, 4 family carers of people with dementia, 1 clinical psychologist, 1 clinical nurse, 1 research nurse and 1 deputy service manage.

How were stakeholders recruited?

The survey was distributed throughout the Trust: posters and paper surveys were put in waiting areas, paper surveys were given to members of treatment groups for service users and carers, service users and carers already participating in active research studies were sent the survey, clinical teams were invited to take part either by emailing the survey link or handing out paper copies at team meetings and advertisements was placed in the weekly communications bulletin with a link to the online survey.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders not only participated but were also actively involved in the research prioritization process: They were part of a steering group. The steering group consisted of 5 Trust researchers and 2 members of the Trust's patient and public involvement panel.