Developing a National Trauma Research Action Plan: Results from the injury prevention research gap Delphi survey

J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2022 Sep 1;93(3):367-375. doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000003665. Epub 2022 May 12.


Background: In its 2016 report on trauma care, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine called for the establishment of a National Trauma Research Action Plan to strengthen and guide future trauma research. To address this recommendation, the Department of Defense funded the Coalition for National Trauma Research to generate a comprehensive research agenda spanning the continuum of trauma and burn care. We describe the gap analysis and high priority research questions generated from the National Trauma Research Action Plan panel on injury prevention.

Methods: Experts in injury prevention research were recruited to identify current gaps in injury prevention research, generate research questions and establish the priority of these questions using a consensus-driven Delphi survey approach from December 2019 through September 2020. Participants were identified using established Delphi recruitment guidelines to ensure heterogeneity and generalizability with both military and civilian representatives. Participants were encouraged, but not required, to use a Patient/Population, Intervention, Comparison, and Outcome format to generate research questions: Patient/Population; Intervention; Compare/Control; Outcome model. On subsequent surveys, participants were asked to rank the priority of each research question on a nine-point Likert scale, categorized to represent low-, medium-, and high-priority items. Consensus was defined as 60% or greater of panelists agreeing on the priority category.

Results: Twenty-eight subject matter experts generated 394 questions in 12 topic areas. By round 3 of the Delphi, 367 (93.1%) questions reached consensus, of which 169 (46.1%) were determined to be high priority, 196 (53.4%) medium priority, and 2 (0.5%) low priority. Among the 169 high priority questions, suicide (29.6%), firearm violence (20.1%), and violence prevention (18.3%) were the most prevalent topic areas.

Conclusion: This Delphi gap analysis of injury prevention research identified 169 high priority research questions that will help guide investigators in future injury prevention research. Funding agencies and researchers should consider these gaps when they prioritize future research.

Level of evidence: Therepeutic/Care Management; Level IV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Consensus
  • Delphi Technique
  • Health Services Research*
  • Humans
  • Research Design*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires