Consensus research priorities for cerebral palsy: a Delphi survey of consumers, researchers, and clinicians
Aim: Research funds for cerebral palsy are scarce and competition for them is strong. This study aimed to identify questions for future research that were agreed to be a high priority.
Method: An expert panel of consumers, researchers, and clinicians was assembled (n=127) and surveyed using a Delphi survey comprising three rounds. In round I, participants identified three important research topics. Three parallel surveys were constructed: (1) consumers; (2) intervention researchers and clinicians; and (3) aetiology and prevention researchers. In rounds II and III, participants rated priorities using a seven-point Likert scale. Questions reaching consensus were itemized and those not reaching consensus were discarded.
Results: Consumers identified questions in the themes of prevention/cure, quality of life/community participation, and service provision/intervention. Intervention researchers/clinicians identified questions in the themes of effective outcomes and effective research/services. Aetiology and prevention researchers identified questions in the themes of infection/inflammation, focus on timing, haematology, research tools, neuroregeneration, and genetics. Fifty per cent of the consumers’ priorities were also identified by professionals.
Interpretation: Research priorities change as evidence is established. Phase II of this project is to develop a web portal with international collaboration. As evidence builds for one research question, it will be added to the web portal and unanswered questions will become the priority.
McIntyre, S., Novak, I., & Cusick, A. (2010). Consensus research priorities for cerebral palsy: A Delphi survey of consumers, researchers, and clinicians. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 52(3), 270-275. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2009.03358.x