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Identifying neonatal transport research priorities: a modified Delphi consensus

Mistry, Aarti; Leslie, Andrew; Ojha, Shalini; Sharkey, Don

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Clinical Research Fellow

Neonatal Research Nurse

Professor of Neonatal Medicine

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Professor of Neonatal Medicine and Technologies


Objectives: With increasing advances in neonatal transport, a focused research strategy is required to increase the evidence base towards providing optimal care. We aimed to identify the most important neonatal transport research questions as prioritised by parents and healthcare professionals (HCPs).

Design: Key stakeholders participated in a modified three-stage Delphi consensus process. Research questions were identified and submitted through two survey stages before the final priority setting workshop.

Participants: Parents of babies who received neonatal care, neonatal HCPs and stakeholders.

Outcome: Identify the top 10 research priorities for neonatal transport.

Results: Overall, 269 survey responses from HCPs/stakeholders (n=161) and parents (n=108) were analysed from two survey rounds. Consensus was reached on 22 of 43 research priorities for the final priority setting workshop. The agreed top research priorities covered the domains of: (1) Pain assessment and management, (2) Long-term neurological outcomes, (3) Impact of transfer on birth-related brain injury, (4) Investigating risk of transport, (5) Safety restraints for infants, (6) Optimal temperature management, (7) Respiratory management and outcomes, (8) Benchmarking of important of transport measures, (9) Understanding transport environmental exposures, (10) Mental health and burden of transfer on families.

Conclusion: We have identified the top research questions for neonatal transport through an extensive process actively engaging parents, HCPs and key stakeholders. Targeted funding and research resources, directed towards addressing these prioritised research areas, will inform evidence-based practices and international frameworks specific to neonatal transport, helping minimise research waste and ultimately improve outcomes for these high-risk infants and their families.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 15, 2024
Online Publication Date Jun 10, 2024
Publication Date Jun 1, 2024
Deposit Date Jun 13, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jun 13, 2024
Journal Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition
Electronic ISSN 1468-2052
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL
Publisher URL


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