Traditionally, many research agendas have effectively been drawn up by professional researchers who devote their time and skills to investigating topics of personal interest. Sometimes research is commissioned in connection with national health strategies. Quite often the research agenda is set by the pharmaceutical companies that produce and market contraceptive methods. Questions about contraceptive care that are of particular interest to patients and front-line clinicians are less often in the limelight.
The Contraception Priority Setting Partnership (PSP)
The Contraception Priority Setting Partnership (Contraception PSP) aimed to address the mismatch between what service users and healthcare professionals would like to know about contraceptive care and the research that is actually undertaken. The goal of this participatory research project was to create, by democratic consultation, a list of Top 10 research priorities in contraceptive care, put together by patients, their partners and clinicians.
The Contraception PSP was led by FSRH and guided by the James Lind Alliance (JLA), a non-profit coordinated by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Professor Judith Stephenson, former chair of the Contraception PSP Steering Group, said:
“The JLA process presents a unique and robust opportunity to engage with the two groups of people at the heart of contraceptive care; those receiving contraceptive care and the healthcare professionals who work so hard to enable women to exercise informed choices over their reproductive health.
The successful delivery of contraceptive care relies on clear lines of communication between service users and their healthcare professionals. When I thought about this, I asked myself why we don’t replicate this collaborative process in setting research priorities for contraception, as these areas of research will ultimately affect both of these groups.
The JLA priority setting process provides us with the opportunity to do just that; bridging the gap that exists between research and those who deliver and receive contraceptive care, giving those at the heart of contraception the opportunity to shape the reproductive choices of the future.”
Find out more about the Contraception PSP process in a blog written by Professor Judith Stephenson.
The top 10 research priorities in contraceptive care
The top research priorities in contraceptive care are:
Final Contraception PSP report
The final Contraception PSP report, Collaboration, Choice, Care: The Contraception Priority Setting Partnership (PSP), can be found here. It was launched on the November edition of the Sexual Health, Reproductive Health and HIV Policy eBulletin.
Next Steps - Funding the Priorities
Members of the Contraception PSP Steering Group have been working with NIHR and other research funders to develop the top 10 priorities into research questions and monitor the impact of the priority setting process.
In 2018, FSRH's Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinical Studies Group (SRH CSG), whose aim is to develop and provide guidance onclinical and behavioural science research studies to improve SRH, reconvened with a renewed membership. The Contraception PSP is a priority for the new SRH CSG, who will be working hard to push this research agenda forward.
Contraception PSP project members
Sue Burchill (Brook)
Alexandra Filby ( RCOG Women’s Network)
Katherine Green (RCOG Women’s Network)
Natika Halil (Family Planning Association)
Annemarie Nicholson (Independent Patient Representative)
Sharon Cameron (SRH/GUM Consultant, co-director of the FSRH’s Clinical Effectiveness Unit University of Edinburgh)
Anne Connolly (GP, Bradford NHS Trust, Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Chair of the Primary Care Women’s Health Forum)
Emma Collins (Senior Sister and Practice Development Lead, Sexual Health, Royal Sussex Hospital)
Tracey Helliwell (Advanced Nurse Practitioner )
Bethan Jones (UCL Medical Student
Jill Shawe (Specialist Sexual and Reproductive Health Research nurse, University of Surrey)
Judith Stephenson ( Margaret Pyke Professor of Sexual and Reproductive Health at UC, honorary NHS Consultant in women’s health and public health at UCLH and North West London Foundation Trust)
Contraception PSP Partners
This project was supported by a number of dedicated partners:
The Partnership and the priority setting process was guided by:
Katherine Cowan, The James Lind Alliance (JLA)
Administrative support and coordination of activities:
Camila Azevedo, External Affairs & Standards Officer at FSRH
Data management, refining questions and uncertainties:
Dr Asha Kasliwal