Research Priorities for the Therapy Professions in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland: A comparison of findings from a Delphi Consultation

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BACKGROUND: Allied health professions constitute alarge and growing proportion of the healthcare workforce.As a collective they are involved in complex careinterventions often within multidisciplinary teams andincreasingly in community settings. Even though reliableinformation is lacking, some professions do appearto have developed an active research culture, whereasothers are more limited in terms of research. PURPOSE:This paper reports on the comparative findings of twoDelphi studies, one in Northern Ireland and one in theRepublic of Ireland, undertaken between 2008 and2011. The aim of both studies was to identify researchpriorities for six of the therapy professions. METHOD: Aclassic Delphi approach was used involving expertpanels from the therapy disciplines, service users, andkey stakeholders. Results: Both studies provided richsources of data. Areas of commonality included theevaluation of practice generally and specific interventionscommon to each of the professions. More effectiveservice management and health promotionresearch were also identified as important in both countries.CONCLUSIONS: As the global number of alliedhealth professionals increases, along with the need forthem to support their practice with sound evidence, thefindings from this paper have international implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-109
JournalJournal of Allied Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014



  • Delphi
  • therapies professions
  • podiatry
  • occupational therapy
  • nutrition
  • dietetics
  • physiotherapy
  • speech and language
  • orthoptics
  • stakeholders
  • service users
  • consensus
  • priorities

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