Identifying strategic research and development priorities using consensus methods

TV McCance, Donna Fitzsimons

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

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Background: The healthcare literature provides many examples where consensus methods have been used for the purpose of identifying research and development priorities. The focus, however, tends to be on identifying clinical priorities for conducting research & development that are important in the delivery of quality services in specific areas of practice. There are, however, few examples provided that relate to research and development priority setting at a more strategic level. Aim of the paper: The aim of this study was to identify strategic priorities and develop action plans to further progress a regional nursing and midwifery research and development agenda. The presentation will describe the challenging process of employing consensus methods to develop strategic vision and discuss the final selection of research and development priorities and related action plans within the context of the national and international policy literature. Method: A modified nominal group technique (NGT) was employed comprising three rounds. Round one was based on the Delphi Technique and further rounds were conducted as part of a Consensus Conference, based on the NGT approach. Participants in the study (n = 105) were those involved in the research and development agenda for nursing and midwifery in Northern Ireland. Results: The final 12 priorities identified from the process reflected the breadth of issues across the spectrum of research and development activity. They related to: strategy development, infrastructural issues, capacity building, developing practice, multidisciplinary partnerships, and outcome indicators for nursing and midwifery research and development. Conclusion: Nurses and midwives have an important contribution to make to the research and development agenda. Whilst the research and development landscape is changing, continued advancement is required across the range of research and development activity. This paper provides an example using a rigorous and systematic approach, which can facilitate this agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventThe 2006 Royal College of Nursing International Nursing Research Conference - York Racecourse, York, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Mar 200624 Mar 2006


ConferenceThe 2006 Royal College of Nursing International Nursing Research Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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