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Burns. 2010 Mar;36(2):217-31. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2009.04.004. Epub 2009 Jul 4.

Involving burn survivors in agenda setting on burn research: an added value?

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Dept. Science Communication, Athena Institute, FALW, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



The role of burn survivors in burn research is usually restricted to being objects of study and beneficiaries of research results, while decision-making on research is traditionally the domain of a small group of experts, mainly scientists. In this article we compare the research priorities of burn survivors and professionals and investigate to what extent it is possible to come to a joint research agenda.


The project followed the Dialogue Model for research agenda setting. Initially burn survivors and professionals were consulted separately and group-specific lists of research priorities were established, using a literature survey, exploratory interviews (n=10), focus groups (n=58), a questionnaire (n=224) and Delphi rounds (n=12). Subsequently, in a dialogue meeting burn survivors and professionals presented and discussed their priorities, developed one integrated list, and prioritized the 15 most important topics on this list.


Considerable overlap was observed between the research priorities of burn survivors and professionals, particularly with respect to biomedical and clinical research on wound healing and scar management. However, differences were also observed, e.g. treatment of itching and oedema on scars and donor places.


The model proved useful in eliciting research priorities from both professionals and burn survivors, and in stimulating a meaningful dialogue between these groups. The involvement of burn survivors identified burn research areas that are currently not the focus of research in The Netherlands.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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