Research Priorities for Child and Adolescent Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviours: An International Perspective using a Twin-Panel Delphi Procedure

Gillis et al. (2013) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

physical activity and sedentary behaviors

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

international

Why was it conducted at all?

The quantity and quality of studies in child and adolescent physical activity and sedentary behaviour have rapidly increased, but research directions are often pursued in a reactive and uncoordinated manner. At present, a large quantity of research is being conducted into the physical activity and sedentary behaviour of children, yet the research community remains challenged to provide a solid evidence base [10]. This is in part due to a lack of international research collaboration and a high degree of study repetition. The aim of this study therefore was to arrive at a set of international research priorities for physical activity and sedentary behaviour to guide more meaningful and focussed research. Specifically, this study aimed to answer the following research question: What are the most important international research issues for the next 10 years in child and adolescent physical activity and sedentary behaviour?” Agreement on research priorities may help to inform evidence-based policy, guide funding allocation, and direct research options for postgraduate students.

What was the objective?

to arrive at an international consensus on research priorities in the area of child and adolescent physical activity and sedentary behavior

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 29 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

Delphi

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: Delphi round 1: 2 panels of expert participants, participants were asked to answer the question: What are the five most important research issues for the next 10 years in the area of child and adolescent physical activity and sedentary behavior?, each expert put forward five research issues and brief description of each issue and reasons why they believed the issue to be a priority, 120 issues submitted. Step 2: data processing: all issues reviewed, similar ones combined, 26 issues from Panel A and 34 issues from Panel B moved forward to round 2. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to review the research issues put forward in round 1 and rate how important they believe each issue is for global research in child and adolescent physical activity and sedentary behavior, mean ratings then used to select top 20 issues. Step 4: Delphi round 3: experts were first asked to rank their panel's top 20 research issues in order of perceived international importance in child and adolescent physical activity and sedentary behavior over the next 10 years, then asked to rank the alternate panel's top 20 research priorities. Step 5: 11 of each panel's top 20 research issues were common to both panels, the overall result was then a set of 29 unique research issues

Which stakeholders took part?

Educational institutions, government organizations, non-government organizations, professional organizations and community organizations. 24 participants in all rounds.

How were stakeholders recruited?

The experts who participated in the Delphi procedure were identified by a 3-step procedure. Firstly, the lead study investigators independently recommended known researchers for the study. Secondly, a lengthy and extensive search was carried out to identify potential researchers from every world region and sub-region. Identifying potential experts from these regions involved searching for staff of relevant international bodies, government departments, non-government organizations, professional organizations and educational institutions. Thirdly, following email communication with the experts who have previously been identified, new experts were referred to the study investigators. Eligibility: Thus they were assessed using pre-determined inclusion and exclusion criteria. To be eligible, a researcher had to be an author of at least one peer-reviewed scientific publication on the physical activity or sedentary behaviour of children or adolescents, and must hold (at the time of selection) a senior position in their organization. In addition, the experts were deliberately chosen to give geographical coverage of every world region and sub-region.

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.