Exploration of whether socioeconomic factors affect the results of priority setting partnerships: updating the top 10 research priorities for the management of Parkinson's in an international setting

F. Bowring*, J. Welch, C. Woodward, C. Lo*, M. Lawton, P. Sulzer, A.M. Hanff, R. Kruger, I. Liepelt-Scarfone, M.T. Hu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives Explore whether socioeconomic differences of patients affect the prioritisation of pre-existing research questions and explore the agreement between healthcare professionals (HCP) and patients in priority setting partnerships (PSPs). Design and setting Prospective, three centre survey across UK (400 participants), Tuebingen (176 participants) and Luxembourg (303 participants). People with Parkinson's (PwP), research participants, relatives and HCP associated with three Parkinson's cohort studies were invited to participate, along with linked centres (clinical care settings, research groups, charities). Responders were encouraged to pass on the survey to friends/families/carers. Methods The survey involved rating the importance of research questions on a Likert scale, allowing for the generation of one new question participants felt was particularly important. Collection of demographic information allowed for comparisons of priorities across a range of socioeconomic variables; the top 10 research priorities for each group were then compared. Questions added by participants were subject to a thematic analysis. Results 879 participants completed the survey (58% PwP, 22% family/friends, 13% HCP, 4% carers). Finding the best form of physiotherapy for PwP was the number one priority across the majority of analyses. HCP were the only subgroup not to place physiotherapy in the top 10. Factors most likely to affect prioritisation in PwP included educational level, presence of carer support and disease duration. There was little difference between other socioeconomic categories. Conclusions Socioeconomic factors modestly influenced some research priority ratings but did not significantly affect the top priority in most comparisons. Future studies must ensure patients from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds are recruited, ensuring results generalisable to the public while also identifying any key disparities in prioritisation. PSP should also take care that HCP do not skew results during prioritisation of questions, as in this study the most important priority to patients was not identified by professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere049530
Number of pages12
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • parkinson-s disease
  • statistics & research methods
  • qualitative research
  • neurology

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