Expertise and e-Delphi

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This article describes the process of an adapted e-Delphi technique and examines expert opinion on four aged care environment assessment tools in the context of minor refurbishments with resident based outcomes. A two round adapted e-Delphi survey was completed by professionals with expertise in aged care design and environments. Their evaluations on the content and applicability of the four tools were gathered. Ordinal responses were analysed using descriptive statistics and open ended responses analysed using content analysis. The four tools were subsequently ranked in order of recommendation to pilot using a weighting system. A 60% uptake rate resulted in a purposive sample (n=18 experts) from eight countries. The experts concurred in the priorities they identified when reviewing the tools, which included thoroughness, cultural specificity, accessibility, ease of use and time taken to complete. A range of advantages and challenges were presented for each tool in addition to application in a minor refurbishment context. Upon ranking, Residential Aged Care Audit Tool followed by Evaluation of Older People’s Living Environments were prioritised as the top two tools to be piloted. It was concluded assessment of residential aged care environments using appropriate tools is necessary to ensure refurbishment works contribute to resident function and well-being. Expert perspectives through an adapted e-Delphi process facilitated local stakeholder decision making process to select a single tool to pilot for validity and reliability at a residential aged care facility preparing to undergo minor refurbishment. Using an adapted e-Delphi process in an international context may be useful for other aged care researchers seeking to gain expert input to a local problem.