Mapping research outputs to previously defined research priorities in an emergency care academic community of practice in South Africa
Abstract Background: Developing emergency care systems in Africa requires high quality contextual evidence to guide local policies. We sought to map research outputs from the divisions of emergency medicine at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Stellenbosch University (SU) between 2015-2020 to the list published by van Hoving et al (2015) following a modified Delphi study identifying research priorities in South African emergency medicine. Methodology: This study utilised an evidence mapping approach to map a database of research outputs from UCT and SU Divisions of Emergency Medicine between 2015 and 2020. The Google Scholar, Scopus and the Web of Science databases were searched for research outputs with authors affiliated to either Division. Research outputs were mapped against the proposed research priorities outlined by van Hoving et al (2015). Results: During the study period, 276 publications and 107 dissertations/theses were produced by the Divisions of Emergency Medicine at UCT and SU. In total, 42% of the dissertations/theses had been published in a journal at the time of this study. Only 7% of the research publications mapped to the research priorities identified in the 2015 study in both research statement and study design, while 4% of the publications mapped to the priority list in research statement alone. Only 8,4% of the dissertations/theses mapped to the previously identified research priorities in both research statement and study design and only one mapped to the list by research statement alone. Common themes identified in the research outputs were (i) Prehospital emergency care, (ii) clinical emergency care, (iii) general systems and safety management, (iv) education and training, (v) research and (vi) policies and frameworks. Conclusion: Few of the research outputs in our database mapped to the proposed research priorities list. This evidence map allows for identification of ongoing knowledge gaps and will inform future agenda setting.