The respiratory research agenda in primary care in Portugal: a Delphi study.



A research agenda can help to stimulate and guide research. The International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG) published a Research Needs Statement (RNS) in 2010 in which 145 research questions were identified. In 2012, priorities for respiratory research were established, based on these questions. To date, there has been no statement on primary care respiratory research needs in Portugal. The aim of the study was to develop a national consensus on research priorities in respiratory diseases in primary care in Portugal and to assess the applicability of the priorities for respiratory research set by the IPCRG.


We conducted a Delphi study by electronic mail with a panel of experts on respiratory disease from primary and secondary care in Portugal. In the first round, the research needs in respiratory disease in Portugal were identified. In the second round, 196 research questions in six disease areas, derived from the first round and from the IPCRG Respiratory needs statement, were prioritised on a five-point Likert-type scale. In the third round, the questions were prioritized again with feed-back provided on the median scores for each item in the second round. Consensus was considered to have been reached when 80 % of the participants gave a score of 4 or 5 out of five on a given item.


The 40 experts identified 121 respiratory research questions in Round 1 and expressed their views on 196 questions in Rounds 2 and 3. Twelve research questions (6 %) reached consensus. There were five questions in the asthma domain on early diagnosis, pulmonary function tests, the use of inhalers, and adherence to treatment. There were four questions in the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease domain on vaccinations, on routine monitoring and evaluation of treatment, on diagnosis, and on adherence to treatments. There was one question in the smoking domain on the effects of brief counselling. There were two questions on respiratory tract infections on the treatment of children and on the prescription of antibiotics. An additional 23 research questions (12 %) achieved consensus between 75 and 79 %.


The results reflect the Portuguese reality in response the international agenda for research on respiratory diseases published by the IPCRG. They can support the development of future respiratory disease research in Portugal.



Resource information

Respiratory topics
  • Disease management
  • Global Health
Type of resource
Peer-reviewed article
Ara├║jo V, Teixeira PM, Yaphe J, Correia de Sousa J