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The facilitators then reviewed all qualitative data sources (knowledge exchange sessions and online survey responses), and coded and themed the data using standard qualitative analytical techniques (11, 12, 13, 14).
Quantitative data collected via the knowledge exchange sessions and the online survey (demographics, closed ended survey and poll questions) were aggregated and analysed within using Microsoft Excel.
The facilitators then made the necessary changes to the notes as prompted by participants to ensure their thoughts and opinions were accurately reflected.
After finalizing the notes, the facilitators organized and arranged all answers in relation to questions, and removed identifiers.
Firstly, participants identified a lack of funding for research related to high risk populations including those with co-morbidities such as HIV or liver disease, and marginalized populations such as aboriginals, recent immigrants, intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men and those living in rural/remote communities.
Funding for research related to effective prevention (both vaccines and behavioural models) strategies was also identified as a gap.
Finally, participants felt the knowledge associated with treatment and therapy outcomes and/or trends including those for high-risk populations, and for people with chronic HCV should be significantly strengthened.
Online surveys can help to speed up, or add another dimension to the process of data collection and provides for anonymity, which can lead to greater openness (4).
This triad of perspectives has informed the development and organization of the data collection questions and results outlined herein.
In addition to considering content, context and facilitation constructs in their design, the data collection questions were themed to align with, and build on those identified in the Survey of CIHR-Funded Hepatitis C Researchers completed in 20 respectively (10).
In 2008, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Community-Acquired Infections Division (CAID) signed an agreement to support a continued hepatitis C research initiative.
The gestalt collective was contracted to assess the current research priorities, as identified by researchers and key stakeholders, to help determine how best to invest the remaining and possible future funds in this program.
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As such, the knowledge network perspective is also considered in our approach to the data collection, themed results and subsequent recommendations (8).