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Int J Health Plann Manage. 2014 Jan-Mar;29(1):52-69. doi: 10.1002/hpm.2163. Epub 2013 Jan 14.

Using the nominal group technique to engage people with chronic pain in health service development.

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  • 1Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath, UK.
  • 2Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.


In this methodological paper, we discuss the use of the nominal group technique to facilitate the involvement of people with chronic pain and other stakeholder groups in the design of a community-based pain management programme. On the basis of our experiences of using the technique in a study conducted in the south-west region of the UK, we explore conceptual and logistical issues relating to patient involvement in health service development, discuss political issues relating to the articulation and synthesis of different stakeholder perspectives, and provide a description of how the technique can be applied in the aforementioned context. We conclude that although the nominal group technique is not a panacea for the difficulties encountered in patient involvement, it does offer advantages over other approaches.

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


chronic; focus groups; healthcare, decision making; healthcare, users' experiences; pain; patient participation; research design

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