Establishing the national top 10 priority research questions to improve diabetes-related foot health and disease: a Delphi study of Australian stakeholders
journal contributionposted on 04.01.2022, 06:23 by Byron M Perrin, Anita Raspovic, Cylie M Williams, Stephen M Twigg, Jonathan Golledge, Emma J Hamilton, Anna Crawford, Carol Hargreaves, Jaap J van Netten, Nytasha Purcell, Peter A Lazzarini
Introduction: Diabetes-related foot disease is a large cause of the global disease burden yet receives very little research funding to address this large burden. To help address this gap, it is recommended to first identify the consensus priority research questions of relevant stakeholders, yet this has not been performed for diabetes-related foot disease. The aim of this study was to determine the national top 10 priority research questions for diabetes-related foot health and disease from relevant Australian stakeholders.
Research design and methods: A modified three-round Delphi online survey design was used to seek opinions from relevant Australian stakeholders including those with diabetes or diabetes-related foot disease or their carers (consumers), health professionals, researchers and industry. Participants were recruited via multiple public invitations and invited to propose three research questions of most importance to them (Round 1), prioritize their 10 most important questions from all proposed questions (Round 2), and then rank questions in order of importance (Round 3).
Results: After Round 1, a total of 226 unique questions were proposed by 210 participants (including 121 health professionals and 72 consumers). Of those participants, 95 completed Round 2 and 69 completed Round 3. The top 10 priority research questions covered a range of topics, including health economics, peripheral neuropathy, education, infection, technology, exercise, and nutrition. Consumers prioritized peripheral neuropathy and prevention-related questions. Health professionals prioritized management-related questions including Australia’s First Peoples foot health, health economics and infection questions. Conclusions: These priority research questions should guide future national research agendas, funding and projects to improve diabetes-related foot disease burdens in Australia and globally. Future research should focus on consumer priority research questions to improve the burden of diabetes-related foot disease on patients and nations. Further research should also investigate reasons for different priorities between consumers and health professionals.