What Research Questions Matter to Australian Paediatricians? National Delphi Study

Rudolph et al. (2009) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?


In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Australia - Australia

Why was it conducted at all?

In Australia, most paediatric patients receive health care in secondary, office-based consultations, such as hospital outpatients, private practice and a range of community settings, e.g. health centres. Most funding directed at paediatric medical research goes either to primary care (general practice) or tertiary specialist academic settings. Thus, common problems presenting in ‘real world' secondary care settings may be overlooked. If general paediatricians are to provide evidence-based care to Australian children, the current scope of paediatric research must be broadened to include the secondary care setting.

What was the objective?

to identify Australian pediatricians' top research priorities and preferred research designs

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 20 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

October 2007 - April 2008

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

Delphi; survey

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: survey sent to paediatricians asking them about level of interest in APRN membership and motivating factors for joining research network. Step 2: Delphi round 1: participants were asked: Thinking about your clinical practice, what are the most important research questions which need addressing?. Step 3: data processing: content analysis, steering group extracted list of 20 research questions. Step 4: Delphi round 2: list of top 20 questions, participants were asked to rate importance of each question

Which stakeholders took part?

Australian general paediatricians. Survey: 685 participants. Delphi round 1: 209 participants. Delphi round 2: 348 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Australian paediatricians who expressed interest in joining the APRN were sent the Delphi Stage 1 survey, via e-mail or mail depending on their preference.

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 7 pediatricians ranging from junior consultants to professors and including general, academic and behavioral/developmental pediatricians. The members were involved in data processing.