Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network
Header image

2012 PAS Annual Meeting

Title: Consensus Research Priorities for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics: A DBPNet Delphi Study

Nathan J Blum, MD1, Heidi M Feldman, MD, PhD2, William J Barbaresi, MD3, David J Schonfeld, MD4, Robin L Hansen, MD5 and Christopher B Forrest, MD, PhD1. 1Pediatrics, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, United States; 2Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA, United States; 3Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston, MA, United States; 4Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, United States and 5Pediatrics, MIND Institute, University of California at Davis, Sacramento, CA, United States.

Background: Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) is a relatively young subspecialty with many questions related to the most effective and efficient practices. The DBP Research Network (DBPNet) is a collaboration among 12 academic DBP programs and the Society for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics launched in September 2011 in order to facilitate investigation of these research questions. With many potential questions there is a need to identify the high priority questions.

Objective: To develop a consensus regarding important research questions for the field of DBP.

Design/Methods: Twenty-seven developmental-behavioral pediatricians, 16 psychologists, and 12 parents participated in a 3 round Delphi survey. Participation was 100% in Rounds I and III and 96% in Round II. In Round I, each participant suggested up to 10 research questions important for DBP in the next 5 years. In Round II, participants rated the importance of each unique question on a 9-point likert scale. Questions were rated as consensus important questions if they had a median score of 7 and the 25th percentile was at least 6 or the coefficient of variation (CV) < 30 (suggesting consensus). Questions were rated as potentially important if they had a median of 7, but a CV>30 or if specific stakeholder group ratings suggested importance. After providing participants the Round II results, potentially important questions were rated a second time (Round III).

Results: In Round I, 216 unique research questions were identified. In Round II, 29 questions met criteria for a consensus important question and 60 were rated potentially important. In Round III, ten additional questions were rated consensus important questions. Of the 39 consensus important questions, 20 were efficacy, effectiveness, or comparative effectiveness studies; 8 related to epidemiology or risk factors; and 5 related to assessing or developing methods to assess outcomes. The other six questions related to: screening, diagnostic testing, identifying practice variation, and teaching DBP to residents. Although the Delphi procedure developed a consensus around most questions, there were 7 questions rated as important by most parents that did not reach consensus criteria.

Conclusions: This study identified a set of high priority research topics for DBP that can serve as a roadmap for research to advance the field and improve outcomes for children with DBP conditions.