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European neonatal intensive care nursing research priorities: an e-Delphi study
  1. Joke M Wielenga1,
  2. Lyvonne N Tume2,
  3. Jos M Latour3,4,5,
  4. Agnes van den Hoogen6
  1. 1Department of Intensive Care Neonatology, Emma Children's Hospital/Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2PICU and Children's Nursing Research Unit, Alder Hey Children's NHS FT, Liverpool UK and University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK
  3. 3Faculty of Health and Human Sciences, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK
  4. 4Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  5. 5Department of Paediatrics, Intensive Care Neonatology, Erasmus MC—Sophia Children's Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  6. 6Department of Intensive Care Neonatology, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joke M Wielenga, Department of IC Neonatology, Emma Children's Hospital/Academic Medical Centre, PO Box 22660, Amsterdam 1100 DD, The Netherlands; j.wielenga{at}


Objective This study aimed to identify and prioritise neonatal intensive care nursing research topics across Europe using an e-Delphi technique.

Design An e-Delphi technique with three questionnaire rounds was performed. Qualitative responses of round one were analysed by content analysis and research statements were generated to be ranged on importance on a scale of 1–6 (not important to most important).

Setting Neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in 17 European countries.

Population NICU clinical nurses, managers, educators and researchers (n=75).

Intervention None.

Main outcome measures A list of 43 research statements in eight domains.

Results The six highest ranking statements (≥5.0 mean score) were related to prevention and reduction of pain (mean 5.49; SD 1.07), medication errors (mean 5.20; SD 1.13), end-of-life care (mean 5.05; SD 1.18), needs of parents and family (mean 5.04; SD 1.23), implementing evidence into nursing practice (mean 5.02; SD 1.03), and pain assessment (mean 5.02; SD 1.11). The research domains were prioritised and ranked: (1) pain and stress; (2) family centred care; (3) clinical nursing care practices; (4) quality and safety; (5) ethics; (6) respiratory and ventilation; (7) infection and inflammation; and (8) professional issues in neonatal intensive care nursing.

Conclusions The results of this study might support developing a nursing research strategy for the nursing section of the European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care. In addition, this may promote more European researcher collaboratives for neonatal nursing research.

  • Neonatology
  • Nursing Care
  • Evidence Based Medicine
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