Research Priorities for Therapy Professions
In December 2008 the Therapy Advisory Unit of the Department of Health and Children (DoHC, 2008b) published A Research Strategy for the Therapy Professions. One of its strategic goals was to ensure that the therapy professions have a clear direction for their research activities. This study addresses this strategic goal by using the Delphi research technique to identify agreed research priorities for each of six Irish therapy professions: (i) physiotherapy, (ii) occupational therapy, (iii) podiatry, (iv) speech and language therapy, (v) nutrition and dietetics, and (vi) orthoptics. This was achieved through gaining agreement on what these priorities should be from the professionals themselves as well as from key stakeholders and service users.
Alongside the top 20 research priorities for each of these responding groups , seven recurrent themes were identified. These were: (i) practice evaluation; (ii) health promotion; (iii) service organisation; (iv) clinical academic training; (v) service user perspective; (vi) cost-effectiveness; and (vii) epidemiology.
This Summary Report provides a succinct account of the research priorities and recurrent themes.