About the project

Find out how we selected our research priorities.

A research priorities workshop

What did we do?

Anyone with an injury, illness, condition or disability should have the chance to achieve the best possible outcome and quality of life.

In collaboration with the James Lind Alliance we found out what research is important to patients, carers and clinicians

Key stages


In the first stage of the priority-setting process, we invited anyone with experience of physiotherapy in the UK to tell us what questions need answering. 

Initial research questions survey

We asked you to think about your experiences and understanding of physiotherapy and how it is delivered - and then tell us your thoughts.

We wanted questions that, if researched, could make a real difference to people receiving physiotherapy. These could be about any type of physiotherapy service for any injury, illness, condition or disability, for people of any age.

We asked questions about four different aspects of physiotherapy:

  • physiotherapy to help people recover
  • physiotherapy to help people to manage their condition(s) themselves
  • physiotherapy to help people improve their health and prevent disease and injury
  • how physiotherapy services are accessed and delivered.

Reviewing survey responses

We received a great response, generating 2151 questions about physiotherapy. Approximately 45% of the survey responses came from physiotherapists working in clinical practice, and half of the responses were from patients, carers and members of the public. We checked your questions against the evidence base and categorised those not yet answered into a long list of research ideas.

Prioritisation survey

We categorised all the questions from the first survey into a list of 65 broad research questions that apply to all areas of physiotherapy. We then asked physiotherapists, patients and carers to choose their top 10 priorities from this extended list. By taking into account everyone’s choice, we produced a short list of about 25 questions for consideration in the final workshop.

Final workshop

On 7th February twelve patients, three carers and 15 physiotherapists met at the CSP to consider the 25 shortlisted questions. By discussion and negotiation, the group chose the top 10 and produced a ranked list of all 25 questions

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