A Delphi Study on Research Priorities for Trauma Nursing
Medicine and Health Sciences
Objectives: To identify and prioritize research questions of importance to trauma patient care and of interest to trauma nurses. Methods: A three-round Delphi technique was used to solicit, identify, and prioritize problems for trauma nursing research. In round 1, experienced trauma nurses (N = 208) generated 513 problems, which were analyzed, categorized, and collapsed into 111 items for subsequent rounds. Round 2 participants rated each research question on a 1 to 7 scale on two criteria: impact on patient welfare and value for practicing nurses. Group median scores provided by 166 round 2 respondents and respondents' individual round 2 scores were indicated on the round 3 questionnaire. Subjects rated the questions again on the same criteria and indicated whether nurses, independently or in collaboration with other health professionals, should assume responsibility for that research. Median and mean scores and rank order were determined for each item. Results: Respondents who completed all three rounds (n = 137) had a mean of 8.3 years of trauma experience. Nine research questions ranked within the top 20 on both criteria. The two research questions that ranked highest on both criteria were: What are the most effective nursing interventions in the prevention of pulmonary and circulatory complications in trauma patients? and What are the most effective methods for preventing aspiration in trauma patients during the postoperative phase? The third-ranked question regarding patient welfare was: What psychological and lifestyle changes result from traumatic injury? Regarding value for practicing nurses, What are the most effective educational methods to prepare and maintain proficiency in trauma care providers? ranked third. Conclusion: These research priorities provide impetus and direction for nursing and collaborative investigation in trauma care.