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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


BERNAL-DELGADO, Enrique; PEIRO, Salvador  and  SOTOCA, Rafael. Setting health services research priorities in the public health system: An approach through expert consensus. Gac Sanit [online]. 2006, vol.20, n.4, pp.287-294. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objectives: The aim of the present paper was to identify and prioritise health services research issues, from the perspective of Spanish NHS enrollees' health needs. Methods: 13 experts attended to a structured consensual meeting by using a two-phase process, sharing both Nominal Group and Delphi Technique features. Health Services Research Priorities were identified and scored (7 to 9, high relevance; 4 to 6 mild relevance and 1 to 3, low or no relevance). Results were sorted regarding the median score and its dispersion. Results: 53 research issues were identified. Strategies to improve effectiveness in health care, information to patients, health care quality and safety, equity, access and sustainability were considered of high priority and high consensus; just 4 items had remarkable dispersion (Intercuartile interval (ICI) ≥ 2). Organizational improvement, productivity and efficiency enhancement, workforce and equipments were classified of mild priority. Additionally, this group of items reached very low consensus: 59% of them reached ICI ≥ 2. Conclusions: Our approach offers reference about priorities to Spanish health services researchers, and also, orientation to financers and users of this kind of research, though several limitations have been described.

Keywords : Health Services Research; Health Priorities; Research Support; Consensus.

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