International Identification of Research Priorities for Postgraduate Theses in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy using a Modified Delphi Technique

Rusthon & Moore (2010) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

postgraduate theses in musculoskeletal physiotherapy

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Africa - South Africa; Australia - Australia; Australia - New Zealand; Europe - Austria; Europe - Germany; Europe - Italy; Europe - Norway; Europe - United Kingdom; North America - Canada; North America - USA

Why was it conducted at all?

Research priorities are established to identify gaps and maximise opportunities in developing an evidence base. Numerous postgraduate research theses are undertaken each year within the specialist area of musculoskeletal physiotherapy, and although some are published, greater potential for influence exists.

What was the objective?

to identify priorities for postgraduate research theses through international consensus

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 43 research questions

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: requesting >10 priorities for postgraduate dissertations/theses in musculoskeletal physiotherapy. Step 2: data processing: content analysis, 23 topics identified with sub-topics supporting most identified topics. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rate importance of research topics. Step 4: Delphi round 3: list of 159 research questions, participants were asked to re-rate each question, resulting in final list of 43 research questions

Which stakeholders took part?

Postgraduate course tutors (expertise in facilitating/supervising postgraduate theses and awareness of the existing evidence base) and expert clinicians (experts in musculoskeletal physiotherapy). Delphi round 1: 62 participants. Delphi round 2: 61 participants. Delphi round 3: 53 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

The purposive sample included course tutors and expert clinicians nominated by Member organizations of the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (N=91).

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.