The Delphi technique: a worthwhile research approach for nursing?

J Adv Nurs. 1994 Jun;19(6):1221-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.1994.tb01207.x.


Since its introduction as a research approach in the late 1940s the Delphi technique has had over 1000 published research utilizations. Most of these have been in the field of social policy. However, a review of contemporary nursing literature suggests that it is becoming a popular choice among nurse researchers. With its focus on maximizing participant's judgements and decision-making abilities the Delphi technique is a useful tool in the research armoury of a young profession. However, questions remain about its scientific respectability. This paper gives an overview of what the Delphi technique is, the criteria for selecting it as a research approach, the studies where it has been used and its advantages and disadvantages.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Choice Behavior
  • Decision Making
  • Delphi Technique*
  • Humans
  • Judgment
  • Nursing Research / education
  • Nursing Research / methods*
  • Nursing Research / standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Personnel / psychology