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Discussion
related funded project to assess whether they had been appropriately indexed. Diseases and
topics were grouped into broad categories to capture areas where research attention was
focused. Additionally, the quantity of publications and funding were used as measures of
research activity and investment, however these measures do not account for the quality or
impact of the research. Despite limitations such as these, the methods were considered
appropriate to capture general patterns and enhance understanding about the research
environment. The analysis is exploratory and is intended to be used to initiate further
discussions and more detailed investigations to inform the development of future UEG
research support agendas and advocacy strategies.
Several areas in the field of digestive health which may benefit from additional research and
investment have been identified based on evidence gaps, population health needs and the
priorities of UEG national gastroenterology society members. Further investigations are
needed to identify the challenges and barriers associated with conducting research in these
areas. Gaining a better understanding of the factors that are hindering progress will inform
the development of effective strategies to encourage increased research activity and funding.
For instance, promoting awareness of the impact of digestive diseases amongst funding
bodies may help to increase investment in under-funded areas where research activity and
research proposals are strong. Additional interventions, such as targeted research
programmes and grants, may be needed to attract researchers and encourage activity in
research areas which appeared to be both under-researched and under-funded (e.g., alcoholrelated
liver disease and irritable bowel syndrome). UEG has an important role to play in
developing strategies to encourage increased support for neglected research areas.
This study created an opportunity for UEG national society members to communicate their
research priorities to UEG and other societies, and it is hoped that the results will be of
interest to national and specialist gastroenterology societies seeking opportunities for
collaboration. For UEG, building upon this work and gaining a range of perspectives on
priority research areas will assist in the development of credible research agendas and
advocacy strategies. For example, further refinement of the potential areas for prioritisation
that have been identified (e.g., prevention research) into specific research questions for
investigation can be achieved using systematic review methods and/or focused priority
setting exercises. Importantly, wide consultation will help to gain a balanced view of areas
which require prioritisation, and the insight of patient groups who represent the intended
beneficiaries of the research will be particularly informative.
Capturing the views of marginalised and disadvantaged patient groups who may be more
difficult to engage but likely have greater unmet health needs is especially important to
inform decisions regarding avenues for further research. This study found that alcoholWhite
Book 2: Part 2
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of WhiteBook2_Part2

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