International Research Priority Setting Exercises in Stroke – Systematic Review
Agreeing on priority topics for stroke research can help make best use of limited funding, people, and time. Formal priority-setting exercises collate stakeholders’ opinions to reach consensus on the most important research questions. Several stroke research priority setting exercises have been published. Exploring commonalities and differences between these exercises could bring a better understanding of priority research topics.
We collated and compared published stroke research priority setting exercises across international healthcare systems.
Summary of review:
Multidisciplinary, electronic literature databases were searched from 2000 to 2021, using a validated search syntax. Inclusion criteria were: full article; stroke focus (any subtype); prioritization method described; and lists priorities for research. Priorities were extracted, coded, and assigned to categories using thematic analysis. The Nine Common Themes of Good Practice and the Reporting guideline for priority setting of health research checklists were used to assess methodological and reporting quality respectively. From 623 titles assessed, 14 studies were eligible for inclusion, including 2410 participants and describing 165 priorities. The majority of priority setting exercises were conducted in high-income countries (86%, n = 12 articles), published between 2011 and 2021 (64%, n = 9), and included views of healthcare professionals (57%, n = 8), and stroke survivors (50%, n = 7). Caregivers (n = 3, 21%) were under-represented. The James Lind Alliance priority setting method was most commonly used (50%, n = 7). Priorities were grouped into 10 thematic categories. Rehabilitation and follow-up was the most common priority theme (15%, n = 25 priorities), followed by psychological recovery (14%, n = 23), pathology (14%, n = 23), and caregivers and support (14%, n = 23). Priorities differed by year and case-mix (stakeholder group and demographics) of respondents. No article was judged high quality for all aspects of method or reporting. Common limitations were around inclusiveness and evaluation of the exercise.
Stroke research priorities are dynamic and context-specific. However, there was a common theme of prioritizing research that considered life after stroke. Future priority settings should consider the inclusion of nonindustrialized countries and stroke survivors with a range of impairments.
CitationInternational Journal of Stroke, 2022, https://doi.org/10.1177/17474930221096935
Author affiliationDepartment of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester
- VoR (Version of Record)