Table 3: Criteria for prioritizing IR questions
Criteria Considerations
  • How large or widespread is the problem?
  • Who is affected by the problem?
  • How severe is the problem?
  • If the problem is not addressed, is there a potential for it to spread?
  • Who considers this a problem?
  • Is this problem a burden to the health system? How severe is the burden?
  • What is the economic impact of this problem on the population?
Avoidance of duplication
  • Has this question or problem been researched before?
  • Are there any interventions that could effectively addressed this problem?
  • If yes, are there any major questions that deserve further research?
  • Is the context so different that I cannot use the results of previous intervention research?
Urgency of need
  • How urgently do policy-makers, implementers and health care providers need results?
  • Will timeliness impact changing course, taking on new interventions or stopping what they are doing?
Political acceptability
  • Is the implementation research problem of high interest and does it have the support of local or national authorities?
  • Would the study results generate sufficient political support that will more likely lead to their implementation?
  • Does the implementation problem have political acceptance that can engender the involvement of the policy-makers in the study?
  • How complex is the research?
  • Are there adequate resources to carry out the study?
  • Is it possible to conduct and report the findings in 12 to 36 months?
Applicability of results or recommendations
  • What is the likelihood that recommendations will be adopted?
  • How will the findings be used to improve health and health care?
  • Are there available resources for implementing the recommendations?
Ethical acceptability
  • How acceptable is the research to those who will be studied?
  • Does the target group share the implementation problem?
  • Can informed consent be obtained from the research subjects?
  • Will the condition of the subjects be taken into account?
  • Will the results be shared with those who are being studied?