Research Priorities for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics: A DBPNet Consensus Study

Blum et al. (2012) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

developmental-behavioral pediatrics

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

North America - USA

Why was it conducted at all?

Developmental-behavioral pediatrics (DBP) addresses a broad range of developmental and behavioral concerns, including some of the most prevalent chronic conditions affecting children, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). A large number of important questions exist about the biologic and environmental risk factors for developmental and behavioral disorders, as well as the most efficient and effective ways to diagnose and manage these conditions. DBP is a relatively young and small subspecialty, formally recognized in 1999; 598 physicians have been board certified in the subspecialty as of December 31, 2010. Due to the high prevalence and morbidity associated with the disorders seen in DBP, it is imperative that research addresses their cause, assessment, and ongoing management. However, with the small number of subspecialists and even more limited number involved in research, it is important to identify and prioritize key questions for DBP research. The Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network (DBPNet): The mission of DBPNet is to conduct collaborative, interdisciplinary research in developmental-behavioral pediatrics that advances clinical practice, supports research training, and optimizes the health and functional status of children with developmental and behavioral concerns and disorders, including children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities.” In order to help the network identify high priority clinical and translational research questions, the Steering Committee initiated a Delphi survey.

What was the objective?

to identify clinical, translational, and health services research questions that are important for the field of DBP to address over the next 5 years, and to achieve consensus regarding important clinical, translational, and health services research questions for the field of developmental-behavioral pediatrics

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 39 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: survey asking participants to identify up to 10 important research questions for the field of DBP that could be answered through research conducted in developmental-behavioral pediatric clinical settings, 319 research questions submitted. Step 2: data processing: duplicate questions eliminated, similar questions combined, 216 separate research questions identified. Step 3: Delphi round 2: survey asking participants to rate the importance of the question to the field of DBP over the next 5 years. Step 4: Delphi round 3: survey containing all consensus questions and mean ratings from round 2, participants were asked to re-rate questions

Which stakeholders took part?

27 developmental-behavioral pediatricians, 16 psychologists, 12 parents of children with disabilities.

How were stakeholders recruited?

All 13 Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network (DBPNet) Steering Committee members and 3 consultants to the Steering Committee participated in this research. In addition, each Steering Committee member was asked to nominate 1 individual, who they felt would be knowledgeable about important research topics for the field of DBP from each of the following 3 stakeholder groups: developmental-behavioral pediatricians, psychologists, and parents.

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.