A patient-clinician James Lind Alliance partnership to identify research priorities for hyperemesis gravidarum

Caitlin R. Dean, Hyke Bierma, Ria Clarke, Brian Cleary, Patricia Ellis, Roger Gadsby, Norah Gauw, Karen Lodge, Kimber MacGibbon, Marian McBride, Deirdre Munro, Catherine Nelson-Piercy, Margaret O'Hara, Helen Penny, Katherine Shorter, René Spijker, Jone Trovik, Emma Watford, Rebecca C. Painter

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Objective There are many uncertainties surrounding the aetiology, treatment and sequelae of hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). Prioritising research questions could reduce research waste, helping researchers and funders direct attention to those questions which most urgently need addressing. The HG priority setting partnership (PSP) was established to identify and rank the top 25 priority research questions important to both patients and clinicians. Methods Following the James Lind Alliance (JLA) methodology, an HG PSP steering group was established. Stakeholders representing patients, carers and multidisciplinary professionals completed an online survey to gather uncertainties. Eligible uncertainties related to HG. Uncertainties on nausea and vomiting of pregnancy and those on complementary treatments were not eligible. Questions were verified against the evidence. Two rounds of prioritisation included an online ranking survey and a 1-hour consensus workshop. Results 1009 participants (938 patients/carers, 118 professionals with overlap between categories) submitted 2899 questions. Questions originated from participants in 26 different countries, and people from 32 countries took part in the first prioritisation stage. 66 unique questions emerged, which were evidence checked according to the agreed protocol. 65 true uncertainties were narrowed via an online ranking survey to 26 unranked uncertainties. The consensus workshop was attended by 19 international patients and clinicians who reached consensus on the top 10 questions for international researchers to address. More patients than professionals took part in the surveys but were equally distributed during the consensus workshop. Participants from low-income and middle-income countries noted that the priorities may be different in their settings. Conclusions By following the JLA method, a prioritised list of uncertainties relevant to both HG patients and their clinicians has been identified which can inform the international HG research agenda, funders and policy-makers. While it is possible to conduct an international PSP, results from developed countries may not be as relevant in low-income and middle-income countries.
Original languageEnglish
Article number041218
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2021


  • health services administration & management
  • maternal medicine
  • obstetrics
  • statistics & research methods

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