Introduction: Despite the escalation in research activity and an exponential rise in published papers, many of the fundamental questions about the treatment of infertility remain. This is a barrier to improving the care people with infertility receive. Objective: To identify and prioritise important research questions for infertility. Methods: An international Priority Setting Partnership was established, including healthcare professionals, researchers, and people with infertility. Research uncertainties were gathered from healthcare professionals, researchers, and people with infertility. These research uncertainties were prioritised in a transparent process, using robust consensus science methods advocated by the James Lind Alliance (1). Results: In the initial survey, 179 healthcare professionals, 28 researchers, and 153 people with infertility, submitted 423 research uncertainties. A review of clinical practice guidelines and Cochrane systematic reviews identified a further 236 research uncertainties. A long list of 231 research questions was entered into an interim prioritisation survey which was completed by 103 healthcare professionals, 28 researchers, and 169 people with infertility. Prioritised research uncertainties were entered into a consensus development conference. Using the modified Nominal Group Technique, 17 healthcare professionals, seven researchers, and 14 people with infertility prioritised the top ten research uncertainties for infertility. Conclusions: We anticipate a prioritised list of research uncertainties, developed to specifically highlight the most pressing clinical needs as perceived by people with infertility and healthcare professionals working in the field, will help funding organisations and researchers to set their future research priorities. We are drowning in research that is singularly lacking in impact. Our approach should ensure future research has the necessary reach and relevance to inform future clinical practice and improve patient outcomes.
Type of thesis
Duffy, J. M. N., Wilkinson, J., Lensen, S., Vercoe, M., Bofill, M., Bhattacharya, S., … Farquhar, C. M. (2020, January 9). Top ten priorities for future infertility research. Presented at the Fertility 2020. Reproduction in a changing world, Edinburgh, U.K.