Identifying suicide and self-harm research priorities in North West England: a Delphi study

Saini, Pooja, Clements, Caroline, Gardner, Kathryn Jane orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-3904-1638, Chopra, Jennifer, Latham, Cameron, Kumar, Rohit and Taylor, Peter (2022) Identifying suicide and self-harm research priorities in North West England: a Delphi study. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 43 (1). pp. 35-45. ISSN 0227-5910

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Background: Understanding and effectively managing self-harm and suicide requires collaborative research between stakeholders focused on shared priorities. Aims: To develop a consensus about suicide and self-harm research priorities in the North-West of England using the Delphi method. Method: Items for the Delphi survey were generated through group discussions at a workshop with 88 stakeholders and subsequent thematic analysis of key themes. Forty-four participants who were experts-by-experience, researchers, and clinicians based within health services including third sector organisations completed the Delphi survey. Results: A three-round survey reached consensus on 55 research priority items identifying key priorities in each of the following groups: offenders, children and young people, self-harm in community settings, and crisis care in the community. Limitation: The pool of delegates at the workshop and subsequent self-selection into the Delphi may have introduced bias into the study. Conclusion: The current paper highlights specific actionable priorities were identified in four areas that can be used to inform research efforts and future policy and practice, based on shared areas of perceived importance and concern. Future work is needed to confirm the significance of these priority areas, including the use of evidence synthesis approaches to ascertain the extent to which these priorities have already been investigated and where gaps in understanding remain.

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