Using consensus group methods such as Delphi and Nominal Group in medical education research

Med Teach. 2017 Jan;39(1):14-19. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2017.1245856. Epub 2016 Nov 12.


Consensus group methods are widely used in research to identify and measure areas where incomplete evidence exists for decision-making. Despite their widespread use, these methods are often inconsistently used and reported. Using examples from the three most commonly used methods, the Delphi, Nominal Group and RAND/UCLA; this paper and associated Guide aim to describe these methods and to highlight common weaknesses in methodology and reporting. The paper outlines a series of recommendations to assist researchers using consensus group methods in providing a comprehensive description and justification of the steps taken in their study.

MeSH terms

  • Consensus*
  • Delphi Technique*
  • Education, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Group Processes
  • Humans
  • Research Design*