A Delphi study of district nursing research priorities in Australia Academic Article uri icon


  • This study, using a Delphi approach, sought the opinion of a self-selected panel of 320 district nurses regarding research priorities for district nursing in Australia. Over three rounds of questionnaires, the 419 research clinical problem areas requiring research as suggested by the panel were each rated in importance by the panel and then ranked through analysis from high to low average rating scores, thereby, whittling down the list to the top 15% (68) research questions and to a final list of the top 10 research priorities overall. Research questions focusing on discharge planning are dominant in these top 10 priorities, with documentation issues the second most common focus. Other foci in the top 10 priorities are staffing, aged care, palliative care, and assessment. The organization-specific top 10 research priorities focus on wound care, funding, education, and communication issues. Additionally, the top 68 priorities, which are either finitely practice-based or contextual-issues research questions, were categorized into 20 themes. The results will hopefully lead to scarce human and financial resources being directed to practice-relevant research programs that will facilitate improved health for district nursing (primarily home-nursing) clients in Australia and elsewhere.


  • Annells, Merilyn
  • DeRoche, Monique
  • Koch, Tina
  • Lewin, Gill
  • Lucke, Jayne

publication date

  • February 2005