The Delphi Technique

  • Jane ChalmersEmail author
  • Mike Armour
Reference work entry


This chapter introduces the Delphi technique and explores its applications relevant to the health field. The Delphi technique is a method of gaining consensus on a particular topic through the use of rounds of questioning of experts in the field. It has three characteristics that make it distinct from other group interaction methods: (1) anonymous group interactions and responses, (2) multiple rounds of questioning, and (3) the provision of feedback to the group between each round. Each characteristic is designed to reduce bias in gaining consensus, such as removing the influence of societal and peer pressures and encouraging the convergence of ideas while still using an anonymous group setting. This chapter will facilitate decision-making in setting up and executing a Delphi study and covers question design, delivery method, employing experts, determining the point of study termination, and reporting of results. Finally, the limitations of the method, particularly the lack of guidelines for researchers, are highlighted to encourage researchers to make a priori decisions which will assist in reducing bias and improving the validity of the Delphi technique.


Delphi technique Consensus Forecasting Experts Stability Modified Delphi Panel 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western Sydney University (Campbelltown Campus)PenrithAustralia
  2. 2.NICMWestern Sydney University (Campbelltown Campus)PenrithAustralia

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