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Table 3 Advantages and disadvantages of different methods of generating priorities

From: Health research priority setting in selected high income countries: a narrative review of methods used and recommendations for future practice

  Advantages Disadvantages
Calls for submission • Enable a wide range of stakeholders to be reached. • Requires stakeholders to have a level of written expertise in order to respond.
• Inexpensive and non-resource intensive for the commissioning organisation.
Stakeholder questionnaires/ surveys • Potential to reach a large number and wide range of stakeholders. • Challenges with designing surveys that are appropriate for stakeholders of various backgrounds/expertise.
• Interpretation may be required to collate responses if open-ended questions asked.
Workshops, focus groups or roundtables • Increases the likelihood that different views can be openly debated. • Some individuals may have greater dominance in a group situation leading to views or concerns of individuals being neglected.
Nominal group technique • Facilitates equal participation of all group members. • Structured process can minimise discussion and reduce opportunities for the development and refinement of ideas.
• Reduces the domination of the discussion by a single person or group of people.
• Results in a set of prioritised solutions or recommendations that are agreed to democratically by the majority of group members.
Delphi technique • Does not require face-to-face meetings and therefore is relatively free of social pressure, dominance of individuals or groups, and is inexpensive [24]. • Numerous rounds of questionnaires can be time consuming and requires commitment from individuals over a period of time.
• Vulnerable to differential response rates and can have high rates of attrition between rounds [17].
• May force a middle-of-the-road consensus, militating independent judgements [25].
Public input session • Promotes public awareness of the topic areas being addressed. • Public setting may inhibit expression of ideas which could draw criticism or debate.
• Allows for a wide range of stakeholders to contribute.
• Public setting may disadvantage/discourage non-expert stakeholders from contributing alongside experts.
• Practical/time constraints in receiving input from large numbers of participants.