The utilization of consensus techniques in education and research in medical professions

Zachary A. Block*, John T. Brinkmann, Steven A. Gard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Study Design: This is a narrative review. Introduction: Consensus techniques are an increasingly common research tool used to define levels of expert agreement on a topic where evidence is inconsistent or lacking. An assessment of commonly used consensus techniques can inform future education and research. Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the use of various consensus techniques used in education and research in orthotics and prosthetics and closely related medical professions, to aid in choosing the most appropriate consensus technique for future research. Methods: A systematic search of the literature was conducted using specific terms and keywords related to various consensus techniques, applications of consensus techniques in research and education, and medical disciplines related to orthotics and prosthetics. Studies were included if they described the use of a consensus technique for medical education or research and explained why the specific technique was used. Results: Common consensus techniques were identified in the literature. To allow comparison of the techniques, the advantages, disadvantages, limitations, and previous applications of each were extracted from the literature. Conclusion: Using the information from the literature, the most prevalent consensus techniques can be compared, aiding educators and researchers in choosing the technique most suitable for their topic of inquiry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-183
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Prosthetics and Orthotics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • Consensus development conference
  • Consensus techniques
  • Delphi
  • Education
  • Nominal group
  • RAND

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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