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Published in The Public Library of Science (PLOS), the new guideline will help the scientific community to write complete and transparent research reports involving consensus methods.

Lots of different hands of different gender and colour displayed on a table

Clinical recommendations, policy decisions and priority-setting need to be grounded in evidence from research. However, often this evidence is in a newly emerging field, and the study results are inconsistent, absent, or conflicting, so researchers turn to consensus methods to help make health decisions. Consensus methods involve seeking the perspectives, opinions or votes gathered from groups of people who have expertise or lived experience of a condition or disease, with the goal to making a majority decision.

Despite their critical role in healthcare and policy decision-making, consensus methods are often poorly reported, with problems arising around inconsistency, lack of transparency, and no description of participant selection or level of anonymity.

Researchers from the UK Enhancing the Quality and Transparency Of health Research (EQUATOR) Centre at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedic Rheumatology  and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) were involved in the development of the new ACCORD (Acurate Consensus Reporting Document) guideline offering a new best practice framework to improve the reporting of research involving consensus methods.


Read the full story on the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedic Rheumatology  and Musculoskeletal Sciences website.