Establishing a consensus on research priorities in orthopaedic trauma within South Africa.
Graham SM., Render L., Maqungo S., Ferreira N., Marais LC., Held M., Laubscher M., Orthopaedic Research Collaboration in Africa (ORCA) None.
BACKGROUND: Musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries are one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Despite improvements in trauma-related morbidity and mortality in high-income countries over recent years, outcomes following MSK injuries in low- and middle-income countries, such as South Africa (SA), have not. Despite governmental recognition that this is required, funding and research into this significant health burden are limited within SA. This study aims to identify research priorities within MSK trauma care using a consensus-based approach amongst MSK healthcare practitioners within SA. METHOD: Members from the Orthopaedic Research Collaboration in Africa (ORCA), based in SA, collaborated using a two round modified Delphi technique to form a consensus on research priorities within orthopaedic trauma care. Members involved in the process were orthopaedic healthcare practitioners within SA. RESULTS: Participants from the ORCA network, working within SA, scored research priorities across two Delphi rounds from low to high priority. We have published the overall top 10 research priorities for this Delphi process. Questions were focused on two broad groups-clinical effectiveness in trauma care and general trauma public health care. Both groups were represented by the top two priorities, with the highest ranked question regarding the overall impact of trauma in SA and the second regarding the clinical treatment of open fractures. CONCLUSION: This study has defined research priorities within orthopaedic trauma in South Africa. Our vision is that by establishing consensus on these research priorities, policy and research funding will be directed into these areas. This should ultimately improve musculoskeletal trauma care across South Africa and its significant health and socioeconomic impacts.