Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Regional anaesthesia use is growing worldwide, and there is an increasing emphasis on research in regional anaesthesia to improve patient outcomes. However, priorities for future study remain unclear. We therefore conducted an international research prioritisation exercise, setting the agenda for future investigators and funding bodies. METHODS: We invited members of specialist regional anaesthesia societies from six continents to propose research questions that they felt were unanswered. These were consolidated into representative indicative questions, and a literature review was undertaken to determine if any indicative questions were already answered by published work. Unanswered indicative questions entered a three-round modified Delphi process, whereby 29 experts in regional anaesthesia (representing all participating specialist societies) rated each indicative question for inclusion on a final high priority shortlist. If ≥75% of participants rated an indicative question as 'definitely' include in any round, it was accepted. Indicative questions rated as 'definitely' or 'probably' by <50% of participants in any round were excluded. Retained indicative questions were further ranked based on the rating score in the final Delphi round. The final research priorities were ratified by the Delphi expert group. RESULTS: There were 1318 responses from 516 people in the initial survey, from which 71 indicative questions were formed, of which 68 entered the modified Delphi process. Eleven 'highest priority' research questions were short listed, covering themes of pain management; training and assessment; clinical practice and efficacy; technology and equipment. CONCLUSIONS: We prioritised unanswered research questions in regional anaesthesia. These will inform a coordinated global research strategy for regional anaesthesia and direct investigators to address high-priority areas.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Anaesth

Publication Date



pain management, priority setting, regional anaesthesia, research, training and assessment