What are the Characteristics and Uses of the Delphi method?

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Do you want to know about the Delphi method? Here is the information about Delphi Method with its characteristics and uses.

The Delphi method is a way for experts to share their opinions and make predictions together. It helps to get a more accurate answer than just asking one person. The experts answer questions in multiple rounds, and their answers are shared with the group anonymously. This helps them to think about their answers and maybe change them. The Delphi method is often used in business and health fields to make decisions or come up with guidelines. It’s important to choose the right experts and ask good questions to get good results.

What is the Delphi method?

The Delphi method, also known as Estimate-Talk-Estimate or ETE, is a structured communication technique developed as a systematic, interactive forecasting method that relies on a panel of experts. The technique is used to help reach expert consensus and develop professional guidelines in various fields, including health-related ones. The experts answer questionnaires in two or more rounds, and after each round, a facilitator provides an anonymized summary of the experts’ forecasts from the previous round as well as the reasons they provided for their judgments. The process continues until a predefined stop criterion is met, and the mean or median scores of the final rounds determine the results. Care must be taken in formulating the Delphi theses and selecting the experts to ensure the validity and reliability of the results.

Characteristics of the Delphi method

  • The anonymity of the participants is maintained to prevent biases and promote the free expression of opinions
  • Structuring of information flow is done to avoid the negative effects of face-to-face discussions and group dynamics
  • Regular feedback is provided to participants to comment on the responses of others and revise their own opinions in real time
  • A facilitator coordinates the Delphi method and guides the panel toward consensus through thesis and antithesis
  • Different measures and thresholds are used to measure the degree of consensus or dissent
  • The method is used to forecast and make decisions in various fields, including clinical medicine, public health, and research.

Uses of the Delphi method

  • The Delphi Method was first used for science and technology forecasting, where it combined expert opinions on the likelihood and development time of a technology to form a single indicator.
  • Later, it was used in public policy-making, economic trends, health, and education.
  • The Delphi Method has been applied successfully in business forecasting, multi-stakeholder approaches for policy-making in developing countries, and patent participation identification.
  • It is also widely used in health-related settings, such as the development of medical guidelines and protocols.
  • The Delphi Method can be adapted for different evaluation scales, such as desirability, feasibility, and probability.
  • Computer and web-based Delphis have brought about continuous interaction, real-time updates, and the involvement of large numbers of participants, making Delphi conferences more fluid and interactive.
  • In public health, the Delphi Method is applied in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, iodine deficiency disorders, building responsive health systems for communities affected by migration, and more.

Also read: What is Clinical Depression?

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