Using the Delphi and Snow Card Techniques to Build Consensus Among Diverse Community and Academic Stakeholders
Background: The New York University– New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (NYU-HHC) Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) used a community-based participatory research (CBPR) and consensus-building approach among its community advisory board (CAB) and steering committee (SC) members to formulate research priorities to foster shared research collaborations.
Methods: The Delphi technique is a methodology used to generate consensus from diverse perspectives and organizational agendas through a multi-method, iterative approach to collecting data. A series of on-line surveys was conducted with CAB members to identify health and research priorities from the community perspective. Subsequently, CAB and SC members were brought together and the snow card approach was utilized to narrow to two priority areas for shared research collaborations.
Results: Cardiovascular disease (CVD)/obesity and mental health were identified as health disparity areas for shared research collaborations within a social determinants framework. In response, two workgroups were formed with leadership provided by three co-chairs representing the three constituents of the NYU-HHC CTSI: NYU faculty, HHC providers, and community leaders.
Conclusions: The Delphi approach fostered ownership and engagement with community partners because it was an iterative process that required stakeholders’ input into decision making. The snow card technique allowed for organizing of a large number of discrete ideas. Results have helped to inform the overall CTSI research agenda by defining action steps, and setting an organizing framework to tackle two health disparity areas. The process helped ensure that NYUHHC CTSI research and community engagement strategies are congruent with community priorities.