Published: 29 July 2010

The identification of research priorities for therapy professions in Ireland - summary report

The therapy professions make up a significant and growing proportion of the health-care workforce in Ireland. In December 2008, the Therapy Advisory Unitof theDepartment of Health and Children published A Research Strategy for the Therapy Professions (DoHC, 2008b). One of its strategic goals was to ensure that the therapy professions have a clear direction for their research activities. This study addresses this strategic goal by using the Delphi research technique to identify agreed research priorities for each of six Irish therapy professions: (i) physiotherapy, (ii) occupational therapy, (iii) podiatry, (iv) speech and language therapy, (v) nutrition and dietetics, and (vi) orthoptics. This was achieved through gaining agreement on what these priorities should be from the professionals themselves as well as from key stakeholders and service users. Alongside the top 20 research priorities for each of these responding groups, seven recurrent themes were identified. These were: (i) practice evaluation; (ii) health promotion; (iii) service organisation; (iv) clinical academic training; (v) service user perspective; (vi) cost-effectiveness; and (vii) epidemiology. This Summary Report provides a succinct account of the research priorities and recurrent themes.

Note: An equivalent report for Northern Ireland is available on the NI Public Health Agency website: A Delphi Study to Identify Research Priorities for the Therapy Professions in Northern Ireland


  • Hugh McKenna

Publication (PDF, 472 KB)

Publication (PDF, 472 KB)

Health Research Board
Health Research Board and Department of Health and Children Ireland
Place of publication
ISBN number

Information and documents obtained from this website are the copyright of Health Research Board unless otherwise stated. These may be reproduced and /or re-used subject to the latest Public Sector Information license, without the need for users to make a license application to the HRB.

Re-use includes copying, issuing copies to the public, publishing, broadcasting and translating into other languages. It also covers non-commercial research and study. 

Full information on the regulations is available from the Public Sector Information (PSI) Portal at the following web address The Public Sector Information Portal will always have the most up to date PSI Licence.