Research Priorities for Fertility and Conception Research as Identified by Multidisciplinary Health Care Practitioners and Researchers

Moran et al. (2016) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

fertility and conception

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Australia - Australia

Why was it conducted at all?

Optimising preconception care is recognised as a crucial health priority with regards to improving fertility, maternal obstetric outcomes and fetal, infant and potentially adult health. Information on modifiable lifestyle factors is provided less consistently in position statements and guidelines and often varies from country to country. Many people therefore may not receive appropriate preconception guidance to allow them to choose healthy lifestyle behaviours or preconception health habits. This is supported by a representative sample of reproductive-aged Australians having poor knowledge of both modifiable (e.g., obesity and smoking) and non-modifiable (e.g., age) factors associated with fertility. This highlights both the importance of awareness of appropriate preconception health and the implementation of clinical care to support optimal preconception health. There is a need for identification of common clinical and research priorities to enhance preconception clinical care. The aim of this is to lead to increased consistency in health care, research collaboration, community engagement and government interaction in this important clinical sphere.

What was the objective?

to identify questions and additional information needed by health practitioners and government representatives working in the field of reproductive health and to frame future research and policy

What was the outcome?

a list of 44 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

1 day

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: workshop: key discussions on engaging clinical partners in research with the objectives of understanding stakeholders' needs and identifying key research questions, small group discussions, comments from each group then compiled and presented back to whole group for further consideration and discussion, results then summarized and described narratively

Which stakeholders took part?

Clinicians, researchers and representatives of government organizations. 33 participants: representatives of the Robinson Research Institute with backgrounds including basic science, epidemiology, dietetics and clinical treatment of infertility, members of the Robinson Research Institute Fertility and Conception practitioners consortium (diabetes educators, dietitians, psychologists, nurses, naturopaths, clinicians and scientists), Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Participants were recruited via Robinson Research Institute, Members of the Robinson Research Institute Fertility and Conception Practitioners Consortium and Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority.

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.