Developing a Research Agenda for the Profession of Kinesiology: A Modified Delphi Study

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Abstract

Optimal delivery of health care service requires evidence-based practice by the professionals within their respective fields. Kinesiology recently became a regulated health profession in the Province of Ontario, drawing on principles of movement science in related areas of human clinical and performance disciplines to appropriately guide practice. However, with the addition of kinesiology to the class of regulated health professions, research that specifically guides service delivery and best practice policy is needed. A clear research agenda with identified priorities within the profession of kinesiology that is informed by current practitioners and stakeholders will enhance the discipline by ensuring clinical excellence and scientific relevance. A mixed methods Delphi study for consensus building was used, consisting of four rounds of participant engagement including baseline focus groups, online Delphi survey (two rounds), and final ranking of top research questions. In the final round, Kendall's W was used to determine agreement among participants on final questions. n = 67 participated in the focus groups, and n = 104, 102, 102 kinesiologists participated in rounds 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Two hundred and eighteen baseline research questions were identified from the focus groups, spanning three thematic areas: clinical skills, education/professional development, and contemporary issues/advocacy for professionals. Following the conclusion of the third round, 32 research questions achieved consensus of “significant importance.” The list of 32 questions was prioritized by respondents to identify the top 10 research questions for professional kinesiology, which reached statistical concordance (W = 0.44, P < 0.001). This is the inaugural research agenda for registered kinesiologists. Consensus-based research priorities identified in this agenda should be considered when designing and allocating resources to professional kinesiology research.

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