Students’ Top 10 Priorities of Research Uncertainties on Students’ Sleep: A Pragmatic James Lind Alliance Approach

For which topic were research priorities identified?


In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - Norway

Why was it conducted at all?

User involvement to identify relevant research topics and research questions can increase research quality, ease recruitment and participation, reduce participant drop outs, and ultimately ensure knowledge development and research that is relevant to the public. The public’s involvement in sleep research remains scarce, and students as a specific target group have not previously been approached to gather data on uncertain ties, despite sleep problems being highly prevalent in this population. Asking students in higher education about their research uncertainties concerning sleep can thus provide valuable insights for future sleep research topics carried out within this population.

What was the objective?

to identify the top 10 uncertainties for sleep research raised by students in higher education

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 10 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

June 2018 - March 2019

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

JLA method

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: establishing PSP: defining scope, inviting members, developing protocol. Step 2: gathering uncertainties: survey: participants were asked: "As a student, which question(s) do you consider to be important with regards to sleep?" Step 3: data processing: merging similar questions, removing duplicates, resulting in long list of 119 uncertainties. Step 4: check against evidence and interim ranking: check against evidence, interim ranking by six researchers, researchers independently abstracted the long list before they met to compare their lists and finalize a preliminary short list of uncertainties, resulting in list of 48 uncertainties, list was further discussed on several occasions, all questions were then thematically reframed as topics, resulting in short list of 25 abstracted topic. Step 5: final prioritization: workshop: six small groups consisting of between two and six participants, participants discussed the 25 topics, participants then individually chose the 10 most important topics without ranking them

Which stakeholders took part?

Students, researchers, experts. Survey: 300 students. Interim ranking: 6 researchers. Workshop: 20 researchers, 7 students, 2 leading experts within the field of sleep medicine and research, 3 stakeholders.

How were stakeholders recruited?

A convenience sample of students in higher education was used.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders not only participated but were also actively involved in the research prioritization process: They were part of a steering group. The steering group consisted of researchers and relevant research collaborators, student representatives, members of the student parliament and faculty leaders at different levels.