Top 10 research priorities for human milk banking and use of donor human milk: A partnership between parents and clinicians

Eliza Matthews, Carmel T. Collins, Vanessa Ellison, Lee Hussey, Jo Slade, Amy Keir, Jacqueline Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: This study sought to establish research priorities in human milk banking and use of pasteurised donor human milk. It aimed to (i) collaborate with national stakeholders, including parents of preterm infants, human milk donors and health-care professionals, to identify evidence uncertainties and (ii) agree by consensus on a consolidated prioritised list of research questions. Methods: A consensus approach modelled on the James Lind Alliance was used. A steering group was formed, and key stakeholder organisations identified. Evidence uncertainties were gathered through an online survey and literature search. An iterative process was used to consolidate and rank questions. A final workshop was held to identify the top 10 research priorities. Results: A total of 391 evidence uncertainties were gathered from 202 respondents (38% parents of preterm infants/milk donors, 50% health-care professionals, 12% who identified as both a parent of preterm and health professional) and a further 15 were identified from literature. The steering group consolidated these to 39 evidence uncertainties, which were ranked via another survey. The top 24 questions were workshopped by 13 participants (four parents and nine clinicians) to determine the top 10 research priorities. These included the risks and benefits of using donor milk, optimum techniques for processing and the effects of these on the properties of milk, the nutrient profile of the milk and clinical criteria for prioritising receipt of milk. Conclusion: The top 10 research priorities in human milk banking and use of donor milk were identified and can be used to guide researchers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-776
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 May 2020


  • consumer participation
  • human
  • infant
  • milk
  • milk banks
  • preterm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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