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The Delphi method and health research

Julian de Meyrick (Julian de Meyrick is Lecturer in Business (Marketing), Business Department, Division of Economic and Financial Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Article publication date: 1 February 2003



The Delphi method is well suited to the research needed to inform health education and health promotion campaigns. This paper measures the current interest in the method by way of a literature review. It then describes how the method has evolved from its inception in the 1950s, to its current form. The focus is on a Delphi variant that is particularly relevant to health education – the Policy Delphi. The benefits of the method for the developer of health education and health promotion campaigns are then discussed. The main benefits relate to the gaining of expert opinions without the time and geographical restraints involved in alternative methods. The anonymity that is central to the Delphi method also has benefits for the researcher. The last section of the paper deals with potential pitfalls in the Delphi method that might undermine the successful application of the method, and recommends steps the practitioner can take to address these pitfalls.



de Meyrick, J. (2003), "The Delphi method and health research", Health Education, Vol. 103 No. 1, pp. 7-16.




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