A consensus exercise identifying priorities for research into clinical effectiveness among children's orthopaedic surgeons in the United Kingdom

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High-quality clinical research in children's orthopaedic surgery has lagged behind other surgical subspecialties. This study used a consensus-based approach to identify research priorities for clinical trials in children's orthopaedics.


A modified Delphi technique was used, which involved an initial scoping survey, a two-round Delphi process and an expert panel formed of members of the British Society of Children's Orthopaedic Surgery. The survey was conducted amongst orthopaedic surgeons treating children in the United Kingdom and Ireland.


A total of 86 clinicians contributed to both rounds of the Delphi process, scoring priorities from one (low priority) to five (high priority). Elective topics were ranked higher than those relating to trauma, with the top ten elective research questions scoring higher than the top question for trauma. Ten elective, and five trauma research priorities were identified, with the three highest ranked questions relating to the treatment of slipped capital femoral epiphysis (mean score 4.6/ 5), Perthes' disease (4.5) and bone infection (4.5).


This consensus-based research agenda will guide surgeons, academics and funders to improve the evidence in children's orthopaedic surgery and encourage the development of multicentre clinical trials.


Cite this article:Bone Joint J2018;100-B:680–4.

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