Improvement science and research methods seminar October 2020: Using consensus research methods with multi-stakeholder groups

CaHRU’s October 2020 Improvement science and research methods seminar, ‘Using consensus research methods with multi-stakeholder groups: does one size fit all?‘ was given by Joanne Coster, Research Fellow, School of Health and Related Research and Deputy Director at the Centre for Urgent and Emergency Care Research (CURE) at the University of Sheffield.

Consensus methods have been widely used in healthcare to determine the extent to which experts and/or patients and the public agree about specific issues. For example, in the development of clinical guidelines or in developing health care indicators or performance measures. This seminar focussed on the use of multiple consensus methods in the Prehospital Outcomes for Evidence Based Evaluation (PhOEBE) research programme, funded by an NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Health Research’ that aimed to develop better methods of measuring ambulance service quality and performance relevant to ambulance services, policy makers, the wider emergency and urgent care system, patients and the public.

PHOEBE logoThe seminar presented the phased consensus approach used in PhOEBE, which included a modified nominal group technique, consensus conference and modified Delphi survey, and also described novel methods for including patients and the public in highly complex and technical topic areas. Jo also covered the methodological limitations of consensus methods with multi-stakeholder groups and the challenges of meaningfully involving patients and the public alongside experts in consensus research and answered questions from the audience on details of the methods, outcomes and impact of the research.

Please contact Sue Bowler ( to be added to the mailing list for future seminars:

Tues 10 Nov 11:00 Complex Intervention Trials and Studies – Dr Julie Pattinson and Dr Elise Rowan

We 16 Dec 11:00 Interrupted Time Series: COVID lockdown and ambulance data – Prof Graham Law

Wed 13 Jan 11:00 Reflections on stepped-wedge trials: rationale, design, and analysis – Dr Vanessa Botan

If you would like to see and hear Jo’s presentation click here.  You can also view the presentation below.

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