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      Achieving Consensus in the Development of an Online Intervention Designed to Effectively Support Midwives in Work-Related Psychological Distress: Protocol for a Delphi Study

      , DipMid, BA (Hons), RM, MSc 1 , , , BA (Hons), PhD 1
      (Reviewer), (Reviewer)
      JMIR Research Protocols
      JMIR Publications Inc.
      Delphi technique, Internet, intervention studies, midwifery, psychological, research protocols, self-help groups, stress

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          The development of an online intervention designed to effectively support midwives in work-related psychological distress will be challenging due to the ethical, practical, and therapeutic issues surrounding its design. Related literature suggests that midwives may require an anonymous, confidential, and therapeutic platform that facilitates amnesty and nonpunitive approaches to remedy ill health. However, it is unclear which requirements may be most salient to midwifery populations.


          The objective of this paper is to describe the design of a Delphi study, intended to achieve expert consensus on the needs of midwives in work-related psychological distress who may be supported via an online intervention. This protocol may also serve as a research framework for similar studies to be modeled upon.


          A heterogeneous sample of at least thirty experts on psychological well-being and distress associated with midwifery work will be recruited. Their opinions regarding the development of an online intervention designed to support midwives in work-related psychological distress will be collected through 2 rounds of questioning, via the Delphi Technique. When 60% (≥18, assuming the minimum is 30) of panelists score within 2 adjacent points on a 7-point scale, consensus will be acknowledged. This Delphi study protocol will invite both qualitative and quantitative outcomes.


          This study is currently in development. It is financially supported by a full-time scholarship at the Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research at Coventry University (Coventry, UK). The implementation of this Delphi study is anticipated to occur during the autumn of 2015.


          The results of this study will direct the development of an online intervention designed to support midwives in work-related psychological distress, summarize expert driven consensus, and direct future research.

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          Most cited references44

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          The Delphi technique: a worthwhile research approach for nursing?

          Since its introduction as a research approach in the late 1940s the Delphi technique has had over 1000 published research utilizations. Most of these have been in the field of social policy. However, a review of contemporary nursing literature suggests that it is becoming a popular choice among nurse researchers. With its focus on maximizing participant's judgements and decision-making abilities the Delphi technique is a useful tool in the research armoury of a young profession. However, questions remain about its scientific respectability. This paper gives an overview of what the Delphi technique is, the criteria for selecting it as a research approach, the studies where it has been used and its advantages and disadvantages.
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            Consensus measurement in Delphi studies

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              Criteria list for assessment of methodological quality of economic evaluations: Consensus on Health Economic Criteria.

              The aim of the Consensus on Health Economic Criteria (CHEC) project is to develop a criteria list for assessment of the methodological quality of economic evaluations in systematic reviews. The criteria list resulting from this CHEC project should be regarded as a minimum standard. The criteria list has been developed using a Delphi method. Three Delphi rounds were needed to reach consensus. Twenty-three international experts participated in the Delphi panel. The Delphi panel achieved consensus over a generic core set of items for the quality assessment of economic evaluations. Each item of the CHEC-list was formulated as a question that can be answered by yes or no. To standardize the interpretation of the list and facilitate its use, the project team also provided an operationalization of the criteria list items. There was consensus among a group of international experts regarding a core set of items that can be used to assess the quality of economic evaluations in systematic reviews. Using this checklist will make future systematic reviews of economic evaluations more transparent, informative, and comparable. Consequently, researchers and policy-makers might use these systematic reviews more easily. The CHEC-list can be downloaded freely from http://www.beoz.unimaas.nl/chec/.

                Author and article information

                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Research Protocols
                JMIR Publications Inc. (Toronto, Canada )
                Jul-Sep 2015
                04 September 2015
                : 4
                : 3
                : e107
                [1] 1Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Coventry University CoventryUnited Kingdom
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Sally Pezaro pezaros@ 123456uni.coventry.ac.uk
                Author information
                ©Sally Pezaro, Wendy Clyne. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (http://www.researchprotocols.org), 04.09.2015.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                : 29 May 2015
                : 15 July 2015
                : 17 July 2015
                : 24 July 2015

                delphi technique,internet,intervention studies,midwifery,psychological,research protocols,self-help groups,stress


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