An International Expert Delphi Study to Determine Research Needs in Major Incident Management

Mackway-Jones & Carley (2012) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

major incident management

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - United Kingdom

Why was it conducted at all?

In the last 30-40 years, the volume of the literature regarding major incident planning has increased several fold. Major incidents such as the terrorist attacks in London and New York have further focused attention on the need to plan for these rare but devastating events. In political terms, the profile of emergency planning has arguably never been higher, with requirements for emergency planning in the UK now defined in national legislation. The challenge for emergency planners is in synthesizing, appraising and using the published literature. The authors' experience is that the published data is variable in both quality and scope. This leaves those in emergency planning with decisions in planning areas where little or no evidence exists, and contributes to the long-standing variable compliance with current guidance.

What was the objective?

to collate the opinions of experts and to reach consensus about the research priorities in the management of major incidents

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 74 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: literature review. Step 2: Delphi round 1: participants were asked to consider major incident research requirements in 11 areas identified from literature analysis, participants also asked to identify areas where research base was adequate and areas of research requirement that lay outside the 11 areas identified. Step 3: data processing: thematic analysis. Step 4: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rate topics. Step 5: Delphi round 3: participants were asked to re-rate topics that had not reached consensus in round 2

Which stakeholders took part?

Active researchers and active educators in major incident management. Delphi round 1: 23 participants. Delphi round 2: 21 participants. Delphi round 3: 22 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

An international panel of experts drawn from active researchers and active educators in major incident management was formed.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.