Priority Setting for Research in the Field of Medical Ethics in the Islamic Republic of Iran: A Delphi Study

For which topic were research priorities identified?

medical ethics

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Asia - Iran

Why was it conducted at all?

The limited financial and human resources are more pressing in developing countries and have major impact in research planning. Thus, interventions should arise from valid prioritization of problem. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, limited studies have been conducted to identify the most important and prioritized medical ethics topics; none were conclusive. Further, those studies did not concentrate on the views of ethicists on ethical issues in a particular heath care context did they seek the opinion of clinical bioethicists.

What was the objective?

to identify and prioritize the most important medical ethics issues for research in the Islamic Republic of Iran

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 6 research areas

How long did the research prioritization take?

October 2015 - April 2016

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: review of literature and most relevant topics extracted Step 2: Delphi round 1: survey: consisting of 77 topics divided into 10 categories and subcategories, experts were asked to give their opinion about categorization and add other topics if missing. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rate categories and subcategories and to identify research priority of the topics. Step 4: Delphi round 3: participants were asked to re-rate based on group mean ratings

Which stakeholders took part?

Experts in medical ethics. Delphi round 1: 34 participants. Delphi round 2: 31 participants. Delphi round 3: 25 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Experts having sufficient clinical and ethical expertise were selected from various parts of the health system.

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.