Document Type : Review Article
Mother and Child Welfare Research Center, Hormozgan University of Medical Sceinces, Badar Abas, Iran.
Pediatrician, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Fellowship of Pediatric Intensive Care, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Department of Medical Education, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
The emergence of complex issues about which not enough information exists has led to the development of consensus methods. Delphi method can be mentioned among these. This study aimed to review related studies and general familiarity with the characteristics, goals, implementation process, strengths, and limitations of this method. In this review, Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, ERIC, ProQuest, and CIVILICA databases, as well as Google Scholar, were searched using English and Persian keywords with no time restrictions (up to June 2023) to find related articles.
A review of studies shows that the Delphi method is used to collect and combine the opinions of experts to reach a general conclusion about a specific issue, especially when the experts are geographically distant. It is especially helpful for reaching a consensus on issues that are ambiguous, uncertain, and with little empirical evidence. The advantages of Delphi include using different communication approaches, the identification and basic understanding of the subject, and the lack of influence of the opinions and personality of certain people in the opinions of the group.
However, there are limitations such as the slow and time-consuming process, the bias of the source of information, the loss of experts, the possibility of receiving a low response rate, the fatigue of people from the steps and the topic, the absence of specific criteria in the definition of experts, the level of consensus, and the size the expert group participating in the study. By understanding the steps involved and their pros and cons, researchers can effectively leverage the Delphi method to make well-informed decisions and gain valuable insights into the future.