Nominal group technique

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

The nominal group technique (NGT) is a qualitative research method of judgmental decision-making involving four phases (generating ideas, recording them, evaluation and group decision). The technique enables researchers to gather information from relevant experts facilitating creative problem solving by means of judgmental decision making in situations where routine answers are inadequate.(1-5) This means that the judgments of experts on the topic are integrated. An example of the use of NGT can be found in an article describing how the Maastricht-Antwerp gut feelings research group established an research agenda on gut feelings in general practice.(6) This method was chosen because the study of this topic was conceptually complex and intricate and there were then no guiding examples of research in the literature.

Reference List

(1) Jones J, Hunter D. Consensus methods for medical and health services research. BMJ 1995 Aug 5;311(7001):376-80.

(2) Gallagher M, Hares T, Spencer J, Bradshaw C, Webb I. The nominal group technique: a research tool for general practice? Fam Pract 1993 Mar;10(1):76-81.

(3) Dunham RB. Nominal Group Technique: a users’ guide. Organizational Behavior 1998.

(4) Bazan S. Enhancing decision-making effectiveness in problem-solving teams. Clin Lab Manage Rev 1998 Jul;12(4):272-6.

(5) Carney O, McIntosh J, Worth A. The use of the Nominal Group Technique in research with community nurses. J Adv Nurs 1996;23(5):1024-9.

(6) Stolper CF, Van Leeuwen Y, Van Royen P, Van de Wiel M, van Bokhoven MA, Houben PHH, et al. Establishing an international research agenda on gut feelings in general practice using the nominal group technique. Eur J of Gen Pract 2010;(2):75-9.