Consensus methods have been employed by health care provider groups in an effort to standardize the management of various clinical problems. Such techniques are generally developed within the conceptual framework of the allopathic paradigm. Specifically, diagnostic and/or treatment strategies are developed for specific diseases or clinical syndromes. Critics of the consensus method have suggested that developing formalized standards of practice leads to the practice of "cookbook medicine." It is feared that the unique circumstances of the patient, the condition of the patient, and the clinical insights of the attending doctor are subservient to the standards promulgated in the "cookbook."
There are four major methods employed in the consensus process. They are the Delphi, the nominal group, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) and the Glaser.
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher.