Irigaray, J., Bou, G., Güell, C. & Benjamín, F. (2016). The Group Reduction Technique to Achieve Consensus Among
Collectives in Health Care Training. Social Sciences. Special Issue: Re-Imagine
Education for Social Improvement 5(6-1), pp. 50-58. doi:
In training processes within professional practice, professional discourse can benefit from the study of language and its complexity, incorporating both its representational and presentational aspects. Integrating a professional’s thoughts and actions is key in the research of professionalizing knowledge, in which the use of narrative exceeds the dichotomy of thought and action. In many institutions it is common for many trainers to begin interventions with an initial study of expert opinions [1, 2, 3, 4]. However, when dealing with very specific disciplines, experts occasionally prioritize their own field of research over and above that of others, as they experience an intense connection with their field due to the social repercussions of their work; paradoxically, it is this same social commitment which defines concrete priorities and pushes other areas into second place, making it difficult to reach consensus among different professionals [5, 6]. The aim of this paper is to study how certain processes of reduction in the number of experts and variables can be carried out as an initial training step when interventions aimed at achieving consensus among experts have been unsuccessful. In our case, we intervened in the field of Health Management through a work group consisting of professionals in different specialties within the health sector (doctors, managers, pharmaceutical industry specialists, etc.). The evaluation of the degree of consensus was undertaken with the study of the deviations of the Delphi Method and Kendall’s coefficient of concordance W, as is often the case [7, 8, 9, 10]; we realized, however, that we had not achieved an acceptable degree of consensus. We therefore opted to apply a study of profiles and of variable reductions, in search of a more compact subgroups of opinion among the experts. We concluded that, when working with groups with a high level of identification or when no appropriate consensus techniques have been applied, it is possible to resort to this method to achieve more cohesive work groups. Moreover, when a consensus technique is applied as a correct intervention, this same technique can serve as an evaluation tool.
Keywords: Health Care, Management, Course, Professional Discourse, Delphi Method