Consensus is emerging among members of the BC health research community around the actions and research gaps that could be addressed by a provincial health research strategy.
This finding is among the conclusions drawn from a new report summarizing responses to a recent online survey seeking feedback on the strategy’s development.
The report indicates broad support among BC health research stakeholders for the provincial-level actions identified in previous consultation phases. Seven of the 10 actions identified to date were perceived as important by survey respondents. The development of an accessible and robust data platform emerged as the highest priority overall and was rated highly by all stakeholder groups. Other high priorities included: a provincial mechanism to support evidence-based decision-making, a provincial forum for ongoing dialogue, and a harmonized ethics review process.
Support was similarly strong for the 12 research program gaps identified to date, with eight perceived as important by respondents. Five research gaps emerged as top priorities:
- Research programs that focus on health promotion and disease prevention
- Programs that support implementation of research evidence into practice or policy
- Complex problem-based research programs involving researchers from different disciplines as well as research users
- Programs that support health professional involvement in research
- Targeted research on health issues of priority to BC
The online survey was issued in June 2013 and was distributed broadly within BC health research community. In addition to provincial actions and research gaps, the survey sought input on the health research strategy’s draft vision and goals. A total of 950 responses were received, of which 926 were eligible for inclusion.
The survey report is complemented by a summary of discussions from regional consultation workshops that took place this summer in each of BC’s health authorities. Qualitative data from these face-to-face workshops reinforce many of the online survey’s quantitative findings. The regional workshops have also provided important nuance to various issues and concerns that are more relevant in certain regions than in others.