What is the Delphi method? Strengths and shortcomings
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Psychiatr Pol 2008;42(1):5–16
This article provides a condensed discussion and explanation of the Delphi method. This technique is used for problem solving and decision making. The Delphi Method was originally developed during the cold war by the U.S. Intelligence think tank, the RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California in the 1950's and 1960's. It was designed for use on complex or ambiguous problems that exceed the capabilities of a single person. Most researchers make distinctions between the conventional Delphi and the policy Delphi. The last decades have seen increasing interest in the use of Delphi in a wide range of health-care applications. The Delphi method has been applied in a wide range of European Commission funded research projects, e.g. in EUNOMIA and projects. The Delphi method is characterized by the following features: anonymity of responses from panel experts, asynchronicity, controlled feedback and statistical description of responses. The objective of most Delphi applications is the reliable and creative exploration of problems or the production of suitable information for decision making.