Setting priorities for research in medical nutrition education: an international approach

Lauren Ball, Katelyn Barnes, Celia Laur, Jennifer Crowley, Sumantra Ray

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Objectives To identify the research priorities for medical nutrition education worldwide.

    Design A 5-step stakeholder engagement process based on methodological guidelines for identifying research priorities in health.

    Participants 277 individuals were identified as representatives for 30 different stakeholder organisations across 86 countries. The stakeholder organisations represented the views of medical educators, medical students, doctors, patients and researchers in medical education.

    Interventions Each stakeholder representative was asked to provide up to three research questions that should be deemed as a priority for medical nutrition education.

    Main outcome measures Research questions were critically appraised for answerability, sustainability, effectiveness, potential for translation and potential to impact on disease burden. A blinded scoring system was used to rank the appraised questions, with higher scores indicating higher priority (range of scores possible 36–108).

    Results 37 submissions were received, of which 25 were unique research questions. Submitted questions received a range of scores from 62 to 106 points. The highest scoring questions focused on (1) increasing the confidence of medical students and doctors in providing nutrition care to patients, (2) clarifying the essential nutrition skills doctors should acquire, (3) understanding the effectiveness of doctors at influencing dietary behaviours and (4) improving medical students' attitudes towards the importance of nutrition.

    Conclusions These research questions can be used to ensure future projects in medical nutrition education directly align with the needs and preferences of research stakeholders. Funders should consider these priorities in their commissioning of research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages7
    JournalBMJ Open
    Issue number12
    Early online date14 Dec 2016
    Publication statusPublished online - 14 Dec 2016


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