Table 3

Rankings of the shortlist of questions in the second survey and the final workshop

QuestionWorkshop final rankingSecond survey ranking
PatientsCarersHealthcare professional
How does a patient quality of life (QOL) change (eg, disability-free survival) following heart surgery and what factors are associated with this?14101
How can we address frailty and improve the management of frail patients in heart surgery?239367
How can we improve the outcomes of heart surgery patients with chronic conditions (obesity, diabetes, hypertension, renal failure, autoimmune diseases, and so on)?31363
Does prehabilitation (a programme of nutritional, exercise and psychological interventions before surgery) benefit heart surgery patients?427Joint 272
When should heart valve intervention occur for patients without symptoms?5261127
How does minimally invasive heart surgery compare to traditional open surgery?6336
How do we minimise damage to organs from heart-lung machine/heart surgery (heart, kidney, lung, brain and gut)?723218
Can we use 3D bioprinting or stem cell technology to create living tissues (heart valves/heart) and repair failing hearts (myocardial regeneration)?812817
What are the most effective ways of preventing and treating postoperative atrial fibrillation?96259
How do we reduce and manage infections after heart surgery including surgical site/sternal wound infection and pneumonia?1011Joint 2721
Does enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) improve outcomes in heart surgery?10Joint 134
What are the long-term outcomes, including life expectancy, after heart surgery?115
What are the benefits of heart surgery in older patients?14911
What are the best cardiovascular medications for management in heart surgery (eg, ACE inhibitors, antiplatelet, anticoagulant)?8Joint 1336
What are the best ways to prevent, diagnose and treat patients with acute aortic dissection (including long-term management)?7416
What is the best strategy for managing acute heart failure after heart surgery (inotropic drug, mechanical support or intravascular devices)?363812
How do transcutaneous techniques for heart valve surgery compare to traditional open surgery (TAVI vs AVR)?30710
What can patients do (in terms of their lifestyle choices—exercise, diet, smoking, well-being, and so on) before and after heart surgery to improve outcomes?2218
How can we improve the communication between the medical team and patients/carers regarding the risks and benefits of heart surgery?5526
Does having access to specialist cardiac nurses or consultants by electronic methods improve outcomes for heart surgery patients?241241
Do outcomes of heart surgery and follow-up time vary by postcode/location and how to reduce the variation?93143
  • AVR, aortic valve replacement; TAVI, transcatheter aortic valve implantation.