Objectives To identify the unanswered research questions in paediatric preventive care that are most important to parents and clinicians, and to explore how questions from parents and clinicians may differ.
Design Iterative mixed methods research priority setting process.
Setting Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Participants Parents of children aged 0–5 years enrolled in a research network in Toronto, and clinicians practising in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Interventions Informed by the James Lind Alliance’s methodology, an online questionnaire collected unanswered research questions in paediatric preventive care from study participants. Similar submissions were combined and ranked. A consensus workshop attended by 28 parents and clinicians considered the most highly ranked submissions and used the nominal group technique to select the 10 most important unanswered research questions.
Results Forty-two clinicians and 115 parents submitted 255 and 791 research questions, respectively, which were combined into 79 indicative questions. Most submissions were about nutrition, illness prevention, parenting and behaviour management. Parents were more likely to ask questions about screen time (49 parents vs 8 clinicians, p<0.05) and environmental toxins (18 parents vs 0 clinicians, p<0.05). The top 10 unanswered questions identified at the workshop related to mental health, parental stress, physical activity, obesity, childhood development, behaviour management and screen time.
Conclusion The top 10 most important unanswered research questions in paediatric preventive care from the perspective of parents and clinicians were identified. These research priorities may be important in advancing preventive healthcare for children.
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Contributors ML conceptualised and designed the study and data collection instruments, coordinated data collection, carried out the initial analyses, coordinated the final workshop, drafted the initial manuscript, reviewed and revised the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript, as submitted. CSB
, JLM and AL reviewed and revised the study protocol and data collection instruments, supervised data collection, participated in the final study workshop, reviewed and revised the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript, as submitted. SS
reviewed the study design, supervised data collection, participated in the final study workshop, reviewed and revised the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript, as submitted.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval Hospital for Sick Children Research Ethics Board, St. Michael’s Hospital Research Ethics Board
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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