An international eDelphi study identifying the research and education priorities in wound management and tissue repair.
Aim. To incorporate an international and multidisciplinary consensus in the determination of the research and education priorities for wound healing and tissue repair. Background. A compelling reason for the study is the lack of an agreed list of priorities for wound care research and education. Furthermore, there is a growth in the prevalence of chronic wounds, a growth in wound care products and marketing, and an increase in clinician attendance at conferences and education programmes. Design. The study used a survey method. Methods. A four-round eDelphi technique was used to collect responses from an international population of health professionals across 24 countries. Results. Responses were obtained from 360 professionals representing many health care settings. The top education priorities related to the standardisation of all foundation education programmes in wound care, the inclusion of wound care in all professional undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes, selecting dressings and the prevention of pressure ulcers. The top research priorities related to the dressing selection, pressure ulcer prevention and wound infection. Conclusion. Professionals from different backgrounds and countries who are engaged in wound management share a common set of priorities for research and education. Most notably, the priorities identified relate to long-established clinical challenges in wound care and underpin the principles of good patient care practices. The priorities are closely allied to an ageing population and identify many challenges ahead for practitioners engaged in wound management services. Relevance to clinical practice. The provision of wound care is a major investment of health service resources and remains a clinical challenge today. Research is essential to building evidence-based practice and fundamental to development of quality in standards of practice; education is central to achieving competence to deliver effective care. The determination of research and education priorities is therefore an absolute requirement in developing services.