Delphi Method Consensus on Priority Global Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Conditions and Procedures

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2022 Oct;167(4):669-677. doi: 10.1177/01945998211073705. Epub 2022 Jan 25.


Objective: The objective of this study was to develop an international expert consensus on priority otolaryngology-head and neck surgery conditions and procedures globally for which national health systems should be capable of caring.

Study design: The Delphi method was employed via a multiround online survey administered to attending otolaryngologists in an international research collaborative of >180 otolaryngologists in >40 countries.

Setting: International online survey.

Methods: In round 1, participants listed the top 15 otolaryngologic conditions and top 15 otolaryngology procedures for their World Bank regions. In round 2, participants ranked round 1 responses in order of global importance on a 5-point Likert scale. In round 3, participants reranked conditions and procedures that did not achieve consensus, defined as 50% of the round 2 Likert responses being ranked as "important" or "very important." Descriptive statistics were calculated for each round.

Results: The survey was distributed to 53 experts globally, with a response rate of 38% (n = 20). Fifty percent (n = 10) of participants were from low- and middle-income countries, with at least 1 participant from each World Bank region. Ten consensus surgical procedures and 10 consensus conditions were identified.

Conclusion: This study identified a list of priority otolaryngology-head and neck surgery conditions and surgical procedures for which all national health systems around the world should be capable of managing. Acute and infectious conditions with preventative and emergent procedures were highlighted. These findings can direct future research and guide international collaborations.

Keywords: Delphi method; global surgery; otolaryngology.

MeSH terms

  • Consensus
  • Delphi Technique
  • Humans
  • Otolaryngologists
  • Otolaryngology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires