Lost in definitions: Reducing duplication and clarifying definitions of knowledge and decision support tools. A RAND-modified Delphi consensus study

Dunja Dreesens*, Leontien Kremer, Jako Burgers, Trudy van der Weijden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Web of Science)


Background: A review of tools for knowledge translation and decision support yielded an abundance of tool types and confusion over the definitions of these knowledge tools. The aim of this study was to limit the number of tool types, reach consensus on their definitions and clarify their intended use.

Methods: We used the RAND-modified Delphi approach to select a core set of knowledge tools and to reach agreement on the tools' definitions. The knowledge tool types were scored using a Likert scale in two Delphi rounds on importance; the provided definitions were also scored and commented on by the experts.

Results: Over 20 experts from parties involved with development of knowledge and decision support tools limited the number of tool types from 34 to 13. The Delphi-participants reached consensus on nine tools as being important for knowledge translation and supporting (shared) decision-making. Furthermore, they reached consensus on the definition of five of the 13 tools.

Conclusions/discussion: A large group of experts, representatives of Dutch knowledge tool developers, managed to reach consensus on a core set of 13 knowledge tool types for the Netherlands. Implementing the use of this set and limiting the expansion with other tool types remains challenging. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-539
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Knowledge (translation) tools
  • Decision support
  • Definitions
  • Delphi procedure
  • Qualitative research
  • Netherlands
  • CARE

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