The results are in – biggest ever patient survey in bowel disease research!

Patients help set the research agenda

BDRF Researchers undertook the biggest ever public survey of colorectal research priorities at London’s Excel centre last week, in front of an audience of almost 400 people. We are hugely grateful to CORE Charity, who ran the Science of Digestion symposium where this took place.

The survey was conducted by leading members of the ground-breaking joint BDRF/ACPGBI Delphi project, which has established a list of research questions considered the most important among the clinical colorectal community.

The project had earlier worked with a small steering group, known as ORACLE, made up of patient representatives, charity leaders and other interested bodies to establish a ‘patient perspective’ on the list of questions. Leading members of the research team Nicola Fearnhead and Angus McNair led this hour long session during the Digestive Disorders Federation meeting in order to further advance lay participation in the process.

The Top 5 questions:

1. What is the best way to treat early cancers in the back passage?
2. How can we reduce the chances of leakage from a join in the bowel?
3. Which polyps predict risk of developing bowel cancer?
4. How can diet, probiotics and medicines help in irritable bowel syndrome?
5. How can we improve care for patients with severe infection related to their bowels?


The Delphi project is unique in its approach, building in as broad an input as possible from members of the public. The eventual goal is to establish a framework which allows funding organisations to target money at issues considered the most important not just by the medical fraternity but by patients and their families and carers.