Research Priorities for the Pan-Canadian Oncology Symptom Triage and Remote Support Practice Guides: A Modifie Nominal Group Consensus

For which topic were research priorities identified?

cancer symptom management

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

North America - Canada

Why was it conducted at all?

Given the strong evidence on which costars practice guides are based and findings from the implementation studies, there is an opportunity for scaling up implemen tation to broadly improve cancer symptom management and to optimize Canadian health services use. To begin de veloping a research program related to the costars guides and their widespread implementation, it is first necessary to consider key research priorities in those areas. The pan-Canadian Oncology Symptom Triage and Remote Support (costars) team is studying how to improve the quality and consistency of cancer symptom management.

What was the objective?

to engage a broad range of stakeholders in identifying key areas for future pan-Canadian Oncology Symptom Triage and Remote Support (COSTARS) research and to reach consensus on research priorities

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 14 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: meeting: to review the current evidence from costars projects and to establish research priorities for a future large-scale implementation study: summarizing evidence from four costars studies and experiences with implementing the costars symptom practice guides, group discussions with nominal group technique to generate research questions, presentation of research questions to all participants, two rounds of voting to reach consensus on research priorities: participants received 3 red stickers and were asked to endorse questions as priorities by placing one or more stickers next to the question written on the poster boards

Which stakeholders took part?

Clinicians (nurses, radiation therapists) and managers from tertiary cancer treatment centers or homecare, policymakers from regional, provincial, or federal cancer care organizations, career researchers, and a patient. 36 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

A core group of authors with expertise in the field of cancer symptom management developed a list of potential meeting invitees based on research, education, and clinical activities. The stakeholder invitation list included researchers and knowledge users from Western Canada, Ontario, Quebec, and Eastern Canada to ensure pan-Canadian representation. This heterogeneous group of invitees varied in terms of cancer care experiences, profession, training, and setting. More specifically, representation aimed to include researchers who had evaluated use of the costars practice guides; health care professionals working with patients having symptoms from cancer treatments; patients who had experienced cancer symptoms and their family caregivers; health policymakers or senior leaders with influence on cancer symptom management; and educators involved with the training of health care professionals.

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.