What is a Delphi Survey?

The GASTROS study plans to use a ‘Delphi survey’ to find out what surgeons, nurses and patients believe are the most important outcomes that gastric cancer surgery trials should measure. Below is some information explaining what a ‘Delphi survey’ is and how the process works.

What happens before the Delphi survey?

Our research team will develop a list of outcomes that may be important to measure in surgical gastric cancer studies. This will be done by looking at what outcomes have been previously measured by studies and by speaking to patients.

What happens in a Delphi survey?

A Delphi survey is a way by which a consensus opinion can be reached. In this study, we are asking surgeons, nurses and patients from different countries which outcomes are the most important to them.

Participants will be asked to score each outcome presented to them in two online surveys (the Delphi survey). In the first survey, there will be an opportunity to add extra outcomes if  participants believe that important outcomes have not been presented. The results from the first survey will then be analysed by the research team.

All participants will then be asked to take part in a second survey. They will be asked to score the same outcomes again but this time after seeing how each outcome was scored by other members of their group as well as how other groups scored the outcome. No-one can see another individual’s scores; they can only see the overall results for the group as a whole. Seeing other scores will give participants the opportunity to change their mind by taking into account how important the outcome was to others. The results from the second survey will then be analysed by the research team.

What happens after the Delphi is completed?

The research team will invite surgeons, nurses and patients to take part in a meeting to ratify the results of the Delphi survey. Only the most important outcomes to surgeons, nurses and patients will then be used to create the core outcome set for use in surgical gastric cancer studies.