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Priorities for child health research across the UK and Ireland
  1. Katrina Cathie1,2,
  2. Alastair G Sutcliffe3,
  3. Srini Bandi4,
  4. David Coghlan5,
  5. Stephen W Turner6,
  6. Colin Powell7,8
  1. 1NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK
  2. 2Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Southampton Faculty of Medicine Health and Life Sciences, Southampton, UK
  3. 3UCL and Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK
  4. 4Paediatrics, Leicester Children's Hospital, Leicester, UK
  5. 5Paediatrics, CHI at Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland
  6. 6Women and Children Division, NHS Grampian, Aberdeen, UK
  7. 7Emergency Medicine, Sidra Medical and Research Center, Doha, Qatar
  8. 8Division of Population Medicine, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Katrina Cathie, Child Health, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK; k.cathie{at}


Background The General and Adolescent Paediatric Research Network in the UK and Ireland (GAPRUKI) was established in 2016. The aims of GAPRUKI are to unite general paediatricians around the UK and Ireland, to develop research ideas and protocols, and facilitate delivery of multicentre research.

Objectives To undertake a research prioritisation exercise among UK and Ireland general paediatricians.

Methods This was a four-phase study using a modified Delphi survey. The first phase asked for suggested research priorities. The second phase developed ideas and ranked them in priority. In the third phase, priorities were refined; and the final stage used the Hanlon Prioritisation Process to agree on the highest priorities.

Results In phase one, there were 250 questions submitted by 61 GAPRUKI members (66% of the whole membership). For phase two, 92 priorities were scored by 62 members and the mean Likert scale (1–7) scores ranged from 3.13 to 5.77. In a face-to-face meeting (phases three and four), 17 research questions were identified and ultimately 14 priorities were identified and ranked. The four priorities with the highest ranking focused on these three respiratory conditions: asthma, bronchiolitis and acute wheeze. Other priorities were in the diagnosis or management of constipation, urinary tract infection, fever, gastro-oesophageal reflux and also new models of care for scheduled general paediatric clinics.

Conclusion Research priorities for child health in the UK and Ireland have been identified using a robust methodology. The next steps are for studies to be designed and funded to address these priorities.

  • child health
  • paediatrics
  • health services research
  • child health services

Data availability statement

Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study. No datasets generated and/or analysed for this study.

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Data availability statement

Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study. No datasets generated and/or analysed for this study.

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  • Twitter @katrinacathie, @DrDaveCoghlan

  • Correction notice This paper has been amended since it was first published. The first affiliation has been updated.

  • Collaborators On behalf of the GAPRUKI Network.

  • Contributors CP and AGS designed the Delphi survey. CP compiled the Delphi data. KC managed the Hanlon Prioritisation Process (HPP) and compiled the HPP data. KC wrote the paper, CP revised it. AGS, SB, DC and SWT reviewed and contributed to the manuscript. KC is responsible for the overall content as guarantor.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.