Delphi: myths and reality

Penelope M. Mullen (Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK)

Journal of Health Organization and Management

ISSN: 1477-7266

Publication date: 1 February 2003


The last 20 years have seen increasing interest in the use of Delphi in a wide range of health‐care applications. However, this use has been accompanied by attempts to codify and define a “true Delphi”. Many authors take a narrow view of the purpose of Delphi and/or advocate a single prescriptive approach to the conduct of a Delphi study. However, as early as 1975, Linstone and Turoff pointed to the danger of attempting to define Delphi as one would immediately encounter a study that violated that definition. Through critical examination of some of the controversies and misunderstandings that surround Delphi, this paper aims to dispel some of the myths and demonstrates the wide scope and potential of this versatile approach.



Mullen, P. (2003), "Delphi: myths and reality", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 37-52.

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Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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