Introduction Malnutrition is one the greatest global health challenges of our generation leading to increased utilisation of healthcare resources, morbidity and mortality. Research has primarily been driven by industry, academia and clinical working groups and had little involvement from patients and carers. This project aims to establish a priority setting partnership allowing patients, carers, and health care professionals an opportunity to influence the research agenda.
Methods A national survey was conducted to gather malnutrition uncertainties and identify key issues (areas within scope where an evidence-base is lacking) from those with experience of malnutrition. Uncertainties were analysed according to themes. Similar questions were grouped and summary questions were developed. A second survey was conducted and respondents were asked to choose their 10 most important summary questions. A workshop was conducted to finalise the top 10 research priorities from the most frequently indicated uncertainties on the interim survey.
Results Overall, 1128 uncertainty questions were submitted from 268 people. The interim survey had 71 responses and a list of the top 26 questions was generated for the workshop. There were 26 questions discussed, ranked and agreed by health care professionals, carers and patients at the workshop. The top 10 research priorities were then chosen. These included questions on oral nutritional supplements, vulnerable groups, screening, community care, use of body mass index and technology.
Conclusions The top 10 research priorities in malnutrition and nutritional screening have been identified from a robust process involving patients, carers and healthcare professionals.