What is the Delphi study?

The Delphi process consists of two stages.

Stage 1 involves asking APRN members “Thinking about your clinical practice, what are the most important research questions which need addressing?” . Using qualitative methods, a ‘top 20’ list of the most common, feasible research questions will be generated.

Stage 2 involves asking members to rate these ‘top 20’ research questions in terms of perceived importance to their practice (from “not important to my practice” to “extremely important to my practice”). This generates a mean score for each question, allowing for a ranking of priority.

How does the Delphi help paediatricians?

It is important to us that we are conducting robust research that is not only relevant, but also of interest to our members. Therefore, we want to know what your research priorities are now and taking part only takes a few minutes!

The Delphi will identify Australian paediatricians’ top research priorities, providing the APRN with a base for future research proposals.

What we found last time (2007)

In the first APRN Delphi in 2007, 685 (68%) of 1006 paediatricians completed the baseline survey with 209 paediatricians contributing 430 Stage 1 research questions. Of these, 128 (30%) had not been addressed in the literature and were researchable in the secondary care outpatient setting.

The top five questions ranked in Stage 2 by 348 paediatricians were obesity management (two questions), long-term ADHD educational outcomes, autism spectrum outcomes, and prophylactic antibiotics in preventing urinary tract infections. To read more about the Delphi (2007) please see our publication below.

What we found this time (2014-15)

In 2014, our members responded to “Thinking about your clinical practice, what are the most important research questions which need addressing?” by suggesting 189 research questions. In early 2015, 163 members rated each of the top 23 questions from not important (1) to very important (5).

Dr Kate Hughes, paediatric trainee, has now aggregated the scores for each question.

The top five questions ranked in Stage 2 were related to obesity management, ASD trajectories, crying babies, shared care between paediatricians and specialist paediatricians, accessing services for families with chronic conditions.

We are currently preparing a manuscript for this project.

2007 Delphi Publication:

Rudolph S, Hiscock H, Efron D, et al. What research questions matter to Australian paediatricians? National Delphi Study. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 2009:45;704-9. JPCH link (new browser window).

For more information, please email aprn.paeds@rch.org.au