The Delphi Technique: An Adaptive Research Tool

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The Delphi technique is one type of research methodology that is growing in popularity. This paper introduces this technique to therapists searching for a user-friendly method of conducting research. The Delphi process is explained and several issues that the researcher must consider are presented. These issues include the identification of participants and the number of questionnaires or rounds that are required to reach consensus.

A discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the technique concludes that the argument is weighted equally on both sides. Applications to research in rehabilitation are reviewed and brief case scenarios related to the application of the technique to management issues are presented for further consideration. The Delphi technique is not a perfect tool for all situations but it can be adapted to address a variety of issues in a range of working environments.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1998

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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