The Research Priorities of People with Visual Impairments in the Netherlands

For which topic were research priorities identified?

visual impairments

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - Netherlands

Why was it conducted at all?

Despite the relatively high prevalence and challenges of visual impairments, limited funding is available for ophthalmo logic research in the Netherlands. The research needs of people with visual impairments could aid the ophthalmological research community to optimally distribute research resources.

What was the objective?

to identify daily life problems, concerns, and wishes for future research from people with ophthalmological disorders, visual impairments, or deafblindness in order to set a research agenda that provides directions for future ophthalmology research

What was the outcome?

a list of 19 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

focus group; interview; meeting; survey

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: 6 interviews with people with visual impairments to provide first insights. Step 2: data processing: thematic analysis. Step 3: 8 focus groups, 7 meetings, 4 interviews: to further identify daily life problems, concerns and research wishes of target population, focus groups assigned to major ophthalmological disease, specific target group or severity of the visual impairment, feedback meetings: participants received summary of focus groups in advance and asked to reflect upon the findings, interviews: to include perspectives of under-represented consumer groups. Step 4: two surveys: one for the medical and one for the sociopsychological topics, participants were asked to allocate gold, silver, or bronze medal to research topics they considered most important. Step 5: dialogue meeting: most highly ranked research topics were discussed during dialogue meeting

Which stakeholders took part?

People with visual impairments. Interviews: 6 participants: people with visual impairments. Focus groups, meetings and interviews: 89 participants. Survey: 784 and 631 participants. Dialogue meeting: 32 consumer representatives and stakeholders from various ophthalmological health care, research, and funding authorities.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Participants were recruited via EAN and the MD Association. For the questionnaire, recruitment of respondents took place via several communication channels of the EAN and the MD Association, such as social media, mailing, and an advertisement during an annual visual impairment consumer fair.

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 an advisory board. The advisory board consisted of 5 leading experts in ophthalmology and visual impairment research and care (the president and former president of the Dutch Ophthalmic Society, the president of Optometrists Association Netherlands, and two board members of two leading rehabilitation organizations in the Netherlands). The members gave advise on the course of action.