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The development of a national nutrition and mental health research agenda with comparison of priorities among diverse stakeholders

  • Karen M Davison (a1) (a2), Carla D’Andreamatteo (a3), Scott Mitchell (a4) and Pat Vanderkooy (a3)
Abstract
Objective

To develop a national nutrition and mental health research agenda based on the engagement of diverse stakeholders and to assess research priorities by stakeholder groups.

Design

A staged, integrated and participatory initiative was implemented to structure a national nutrition and mental health research agenda that included: (i) national stakeholder consultations to prioritize research questions; (ii) a workshop involving national representatives from research, policy and practice to further define priorities; (iii) triangulation of data to formulate the agenda; and (iv) test hypotheses about stakeholder influences on decision making.

Setting

Canada.

Subjects

Diverse stakeholders including researchers, academics, administrators, service providers, policy makers, practitioners, non-profit, industry and funding agency representatives, front-line workers, individuals with lived experience of a mental health condition and those who provide care for them.

Results

This first-of-its-kind research priority-setting initiative showed points of agreement among diverse stakeholders (n 899) on research priorities aimed at service provision; however, respondents with lived experience of a mental health condition (themselves or a family member) placed emphasis on prevention and mental health promotion-based research. The final integrated agenda identified four research priorities, including programmes and services, service provider roles, the determinants of health and knowledge translation and exchange. These research priorities aim to identify effective models of care, enhance collaboration, inform policy makers and foster knowledge dissemination.

Conclusions

Since a predictor of research uptake is the involvement of relevant stakeholders, a sustained and deliberate effort must continue to engage collaboration that will lead to the optimization of nutrition and mental health-related outcomes.

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Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Email Karen.Davison@kpu.ca
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