Learning outcomes Understand Delphi, nominal group and Consensus techniques. Appreciate when these techniques might be employed in data collection.
Consensus techniques Used when: -there is a lack of understanding of a particular health care issue -if the evidence base is lacking and the degree of effectiveness and appropriateness of care delivery is unknown. There are three main techniques : -Delphi technique -Nominal group technique (NGT) -Consensus technique.
Delphi technique (1) A technique to gain consensus opinion from a group of experts. Research team identifying possible expert panel members. May need ethical permission prior to approaching panel members. Data collection via a series of consecutive questionnaires.
Delphi technique (2) The initial questionnaires are more exploratory. Subsequent questionnaires are more focussed based on the analysis of earlier responses. Experts are asked to rank their level of agreement with statements. There may be several rounds of questionnaire completion.
Delphi technique (3) Can be useful in determining research or care priorities. Can be less time-consuming for participants. Can enable engagement of a geographically disparate group.
Nominal group technique (NGT) Uses some of the processes of the Delphi technique and combines these with focus group methods. The participants meet face to face to try to achieve a consensus through a process of ranking and refining responses to key issues. Groups are around five to nine in number.
Consensus technique (1) Works on the same principles of the Nominal group technique, bringing experts together in one face-to-face forum to gain either further understanding or consensus in a particular field. An initial search of the key literature may be provided to panel members ahead of the meeting.
Consensus technique (2) The process is facilitated by either an expert in the field or someone seen as credible in the eyes of the expert panel members. Can be used in the development of clinical guidelines.