The Delphi technique: a methodological discussion

J Adv Nurs. 1994 Jan;19(1):180-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.1994.tb01066.x.


As in nursing, recent curriculum reform in radiographer education has resulted in the development of undergraduate programmes, and a study referred to in this paper investigated the activities of supervising radiographers in support of the undergraduate curriculum. Following on from 'ward learning environments' research in nursing, the most important activities which assist radiography students' clinical learning were investigated by means of the Delphi technique. At the design stage, a deficiency in previous work using the technique was identified, in that decisions relating to consensus among research respondents appeared to be based on arbitrary or post hoc rationales rather than predetermined or objective criteria. As the Delphi technique is being increasingly employed in nursing and similar research, it is important to explore issues of consensus, validity and reliability. The paper makes recommendations for improving these aspects in future studies.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Curriculum*
  • Delphi Technique*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Humans
  • Planning Techniques
  • Radiology / education*
  • Reproducibility of Results