Consensus Development Conference FAQs
What is a consensus development conference?
The best way to describe a consensus development conference is that it is a "jury trial" on health policy or scientific issues.
How does a consensus development conference work?
At a consensus development conference (which is run much like a legal court hearing), a group of experts (or witnesses) is brought together for a short time (3 days) to present scientific evidence on specific pre-determined research questions to an independent, non-government panel (or jury). The jury then deliberates to reach consensus and write a statement with answers to the questions in the form of a series of recommendations.
What is the purpose of a consensus development conference?
A consensus development conference is a gathering of experts and community leaders that provides a valuable opportunity to integrate, in a practical way, evidence from leading national and international experts and diverse stakeholder groups, including professionals, families and service providers.
What is a consensus statement and how is it used?
A consensus statement is the set of policy recommendations written by the jury based on publicly available data and information and the evidence presented at the conference. It is not intended as a legal document, practice guideline, or primary source of detailed technical information. Rather, the statement reflects the views of a panel of thoughtful people who come to understand the issue before them and who carefully examine and discuss the data available on the issue.
The recommendations contained in consensus statements are meant to be used by policy makers in their decision making. These statements are written in plain language and often health care practitioners, researchers, service and advocacy groups and the general public find them to be useful educational and awareness tools.
What will be expected of me at a consensus development conference?
Conference attendees will have the chance to engage in the debate by asking questions of the experts and will learn of emerging practices and current research on a particular topic.
How are conference topics chosen?
Topics should include issues that affect a significant number of people and there should be some feasible interventions to address the problem or issue. Controversial or unresolved issues should be chosen where the process can help clarify, or a gap between current knowledge and current practice may be narrowed. The topic should have an adequately defined and available base of scientific information from which to answer the conference questions and resolve controversies. The conference topic and resulting recommendations should have an impact on health care costs and quality and there should be a high degree of public interest.
How can I participate in a consensus development conference?
Contact the Institute of Health Economics at email@example.com for more information on upcoming and planned consensus development conferences.