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Outcome of research prioritisation round 2016/17

Posted on March 20th 2017

Photo of prioritisation event

The research prioritisation process has been running since PenCLAHRC first formed in 2008 and is just one of the ways we aim to align our research programme with the needs and concerns of stakeholders and patients across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

For the latest round of prioritisation, local healthcare professionals, patients and the public submitted almost 60 questions for consideration. These were received via our web tool, by attendees at our Making Sense of Evidence workshops, from PenCLAHRC theme leads through their links with stakeholders, as well as via focused exploration of issues and settings over the past year.

During a two-stage electronic voting process, stakeholders representing our partners, whittled these questions down using the PenCLAHRC research prioritisation criteria:

  • The size of the health problem
  • The potential for health improvement
  • The practicality of the research question
  • Whether the South West is a good place to do the research
  • Alignment with regional healthcare priorities.

The ten questions voted as most closely meeting these criteria were then considered during a final round of discussions and voting at an event, held at Dartington Hall on the 3rd March.

Representatives from our partner organisations across the South West were invited to attend, including members of the Peninsula Public Involvement Group (PenPIG).

Priority Briefings for each question were provided by our Evidence Synthesis Team. These contained background information on the context of each question, what existing research evidence says and how the question fits with the prioritisation criteria.

After a full morning spent discussing each question in turn, partners were asked to cast a final vote. The resulting ranking of the questions is given below:

  • Would a mindfulness approach help reduce medication in patients with chronic pain dependant on opioids?
  • Does employment support, within IAPT services, improve mental health and employment outcomes for individuals with common mental health problems who are either at work, off sick or out of work?
  • Do volunteer visits enhance mental wellbeing for isolated inpatients and have an impact on the length of stay and recovery time in the community?
  • Does provision of information about the true cost of drugs at the time of prescribing or dispensing impact on medicines wastage or have unintended consequences?
  • Is social prescribing effective for treating prescription drug misuse?
  • How can routinely collected data from primary care be used more effectively to identify both summative and unique side effects of polypharmacy?
  • How have practices changed since the Liverpool Care Pathway (for end of life care) was withdrawn and with what consequences?
  • Is nature based Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) as effective as existing CST for people with dementia? Are there people for whom nature based CST is preferable? Does nature enhance people’s experience of CST sessions?
  • How can we best provide person centred continence care to adults with severe cognitive impairment in residential care settings?
  • In intensive care unit patients with severe sepsis, do steroids reduce mortality?


Next steps

We will now dedicate resources to conducting more detailed scoping work on the two highest ranked questions, in order to test their feasibility as potential research projects. Key priorities will be to identify the necessary resources and teams within PenCLAHRC to take these projects forward, as well as identifying the integral and interested stakeholders from across the collaboration, in order to start developing the questions further.

All questions not taken forward by PenCLAHRC will be shared with partners at the NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordination Centre (NETCC) and the NIHR Research Design Service (RDS), for their consideration.

You can find out about the outcomes of previous prioritisation rounds and also more information about the prioritisation process on the Identifying Issues and Uncertainties section of our website.

Dates for the next round of research prioritisation have yet to be confirmed, but questions can be submitted at any time throughout the year via our web tool.

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