Health research priority setting in Iran: Introduction to a bottom up approach

Parviz Owlia, Monir Baradaran Eftekhari, Ameneh Setareh Forouzan, Farahossadat Bahreini, Mostafa Ghanei, Mahdi Farahani


  • Background: Priority setting is one of the major issues in the health research system and no health system can afford to pay for every research they want to do, particularly in developing countries, so we decided to set the national main areas of the health research priorities.
  • Methods: In this study, according to Essential National Health Research (ENHR) strategy and with cooperation of all the Iranian universities of medical sciences and other stakeholders, the national health research priorities were extracted.
  • Results: The number of research priorities collected from the universities of medical sciences was 6723. Seventeen percent of the research priorities were related to basic science, 78 percent applied science and 5 percent were related to developmental type. According to epidemiological classification, 50% of the research priorities were in descriptive form. In this process, 9 main extracted areas consist of communicable diseases, non-communicable disease, Health System Research, pharmaceutical sciences and Industry, basic science, traditional medicine and herbal medicine, nutrition, environmental health, and dentistry. And then for each area, five main projects were defined.
  • Conclusion: In the Health Research System, the participatory priority setting is the main function based on needs assessment.
  • Key words: Priority Setting, Health Research.

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