Journal Article

Perspective: Consideration of Values When Setting Priorities in Nutrition Research: Guidance for Transparency

Dana Hawwash, Wim Pinxten, Noémie Aubert Bonn, Roosmarijn Verstraeten, Patrick Kolsteren and Carl Lachat

in Advances in Nutrition

Published on behalf of American Society for Nutrition

Volume 9, issue 6 Published in print November 2018 | ISSN: 2161-8313
Published online September 2018 | e-ISSN: 2156-5376 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmy039

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ABSTRACT

Nutrition research can guide interventions to tackle the burden of diet-related diseases. Setting priorities in nutrition research, however, requires the engagement of various stakeholders with diverse insights. Consideration of what matters most in research from a scientific, social, and ethical perspective is therefore not an automatic process. Systematic ways to explicitly define and consider relevant values are largely lacking. Here, we review existing nutrition research priority-setting exercises, analyze how values are reported, and provide guidance for transparent consideration of values while setting priorities in nutrition research. Of the 27 (n = 22 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 5 grey literature documents) studies reviewed, 40.7% used a combination of different methods, 59.3% described the represented stakeholders, and 49.1% reported on follow-up activities. All priority-setting exercises were led by research groups based in high-income countries. Via an iterative qualitative content analysis, reported values were identified (n = 22 manuscripts). Three clusters of values (i.e., those related to impact, feasibility, and accountability) were identified. These values were organized in a tool to help those involved in setting research priorities systematically consider and report values. The tool was finalized through an online consultation with 7 international stakeholders. The value-oriented tool for priority setting in nutrition research identifies and presents values that are already implicitly and explicitly represented in priority-setting exercises. It provides guidance to enable explicit deliberation on research priorities from an ethical perspective. In addition, it can serve as a reporting tool to document how value-laden choices are made during priority setting and help foster the accountability of stakeholders involved.

Keywords: nutrition; priority setting; values; guidance; tool; ethics

Journal Article.  9308 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medicine and Health ; Dietetics and Nutrition ; Biochemistry ; Food Microbiology ; Gut Microbiology

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