Priority setting for mental health research in Chile

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International Journal of Mental Health Systems. 2017 Oct 02;11(1):61

Title: Priority setting for mental health research in Chile
Author: Zitko, Pedro; Borghero, Francesca; Zavala, Cynthia; Markkula, Niina; Santelices, Emilio; Libuy, Nicolás; Pemjean, Alfredo
Publisher: BioMed Central
Date: 2017-10-02
Abstract: Abstract Background Scientific knowledge is a fundamental tool for making informed health policy decisions, but the link between health research and public policy decision-making is often missing. This study aims to identify and prioritize a national set of research gaps in mental health. Methods A multi-approach method to identify gaps in knowledge was developed, including (1) document analysis and identification of possible research questions, (2) interviews to Ministry of Health key informants, (3) focus groups with different stakeholders, and (4) a web consultation addressed to academics. The identified gaps were translated to a standardized format of research questions. Criteria for prioritization were extracted from interviews and focus groups. Then, a team of various professionals applied them for scoring each question research. Findings Fifty-four people participated in the knowledge gaps identification process through an online consultation (n = 23) and focus groups (n = 18). Prioritization criteria identified were: extent of the knowledge gap, size of the objective population, potential benefit, vulnerability, urgency and applicability. 155 research questions were prioritized, of which 44% were related to evaluation of systems and/or health programs, and 26% to evaluation of interventions, including questions related to cost-effectiveness. 30% of the research questions came from the online consultation, and 36% from key informants. Users groups contributed with 10% of total research questions. Conclusion A final priority setting for mental health research was reached, making available for authorities and research agencies a list of 155 research questions ordered by relevance. The experience documented here could serve to other countries interested in developing a similar process.
Subject: Mental health
Priority setting
Public health policies
Mental health research

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