Research Priorities for Oral Healthcare: Agenda Setting from the Practitioners’ Perspective

For which topic were research priorities identified?

oral healthcare

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - Netherlands

Why was it conducted at all?

For different fields, healthcare mismatches have been reported between research output and research priorities as perceived by the principal consumers of the research output. The interests, information needs and challenges of patients and practitioners are rarely considered in research programs. In the field of oral healthcare, oral healthcare professionals (OHPs) have sporadically been consulted on their information needs and challenges to identify priorities for a research agenda. Considering the information needs of OHPS for future research can increase the relevance of research for oral healthcare practice. Moreover, such a research agenda may help to align the challenges and information needs from OHPs with the perspectives of researchers, and is therefore considered essential to overcome the mismatch between research and practice. Involving OHPs in the programming of research will also enable to address contemporary societal challenges for oral healthcare and dental practice.

What was the objective?

to develop a research agenda based on the most important information needs concerning the effects and outcomes of oral healthcare encountered by oral healthcare professionals (OHPs) in their daily oral healthcare practice

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 10 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

March 2016 - December 2017

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

meeting; survey

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: meeting: to inform stakeholders about the different stages of the project and to discuss the design of the research agenda setting process. Step 2: survey 1: to generate a long list of topics, participants were asked to suggest at least three topics relating to their uncertainties and information needs about patient management which they consider relevant for future research, 937 topics were suggested. Step 3: data processing: resulting in 84 research themes, covering 10 research domains. Step 4: meeting: approach for grouping the 937 suggested topics in 84 research themes and subsequently into 10 specific research domains was endorsed, consensus was reached on the method to be used for theme prioritization during the second online survey. Step 5: survey 2: participants were asked to select their two most important themes from each of the 10 specific research domains, subsequently the list of 20 themes they selected was presented, participants were then asked to select and rank their top 5 from these 20 themes. Step 6: meeting: participants unanimously endorsed the ten highest prioritized research themes and thereby the final research agenda was established

Which stakeholders took part?

Oral healthcare professionals (general dentists, specialized dentists, oral surgeons, orthodontists, dental hygienists and prosthetic dental technicians). Survey 1: 210 participants. Survey 2: 235 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Open calls for participation were published in printed and online media and newsletters from relevant scientific and professional organizations, societies and associations of OHPs.

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.