Emergency care research in South Africa – a Delphi study
Article based on this thesis is available at http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/102531
Thesis (MMed)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.
ENGLISH SUMMARY : Objective: To collate and prioritize research topics from identified knowledge gaps in emergency care in South Africa. Methods: A three phasemodified Delphi study was conducted. A 10-point Likert scale determined agreement regarding the priority of the statements (consensus was achieved when >75% of participants agreed). Seventy six experts in the fields of pre-hospital medicine, emergencymedicine, acute care nursing and policy making were invited to participate. Phase 1 focused on identifying research topics, phase 2 prioritizing topics and phase 3 identifying the best study designs for each topic. Results: Three hundred and fifty research questions, received from 31 (40.8%) participants, were collated into 123 statements. Consensus was achieved for 39 statements as research priorities. Statements were grouped into three sub-categories (pre-hospital, clinical emergency care, and general safety and systems) as some participants were only experts in a specific field. After achieving consensus for ranking the topics in order of importance, the top research priorities that emerged in each subcategory were i) pre-hospital interventions that improve outcomes, ii) determining and improving competence in life-saving skills, and iii) quality improvement in emergency care. In phase 3, consensus was reached on the most appropriate study design in 25 of the ranked topics. Conclusions: The study resulted in a comprehensive prioritized list of research topics that should guide future researchers to decrease the existing knowledge gap in emergency care in South Africa. It will simultaneously prevent duplication and should ensure that resources are allocated to themost important local issues in emergency care.
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