Use of a Modified Delphi Approach to Develop Research Priorities for the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland

Tiernan et al. (2014) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

colon cancer and colon surgery

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - Ireland; Europe - United Kingdom

Why was it conducted at all?

It is difficult for investigators and funding bodies to judge the potential impact of an innovation, technique or management strategy. A list of colorectal research questions with the greatest potential for improving patient care would aid investigators and funding bodies to address these problems and persuade clinicians to co-operate to resolve uncertainty in these areas

What was the objective?

to survey the entire membership of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland to reach a consensus on prioritizing clinical research questions in colorectal disease

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 25 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: Delphi round 1: participants were asked to submit research questions that they considered most important to practicing, 502 questions submitted. Step 2: data processing. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rate each question, steering group decided to move forward with the 45 highest scoring questions. Step 4: Delphi round 3: list of 45 questions, participants were asked to re-rate, resulting in 25 highest scoring questions

Which stakeholders took part?

Members of the association of coloproctology: surgeons. Delphi round 1: 128 participants. Delphi round 2: 138 participants. Delphi round 3: 163 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Participants were recruited via the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland (ACPGBI).

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 9 members: colorectal surgeons, a trainee surgeon, a clinical trials unit representative, a patient representative, an oncologist and a representative from the National Institute for Health Research. The members guided the process, and analyzed results.