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Table 2 Transparent Expert Consultation (TEC) process

From: Evaluating complex interventions in End of Life Care: the MORECare Statement on good practice generated by a synthesis of transparent expert consultations and systematic reviews

1. TEC planning by the MORECare project team, expert panel, and other experts identified in the literature to agree on the focus, scope the literature, and identify topic experts with appropriate multiagency and discipline mix (from health care and clinical research, not only palliative care) for the five workshops. We aimed always to include experts in the methods external to palliative and EoLC, researchers, clinicians, service developers and policy makers in palliative care, patients and consumers.
2.. Specific research questions for each TEC were agreed by the expert panel and included in the invitations sent two to three months in advance
3. TEC conduct - format: Morning – initial consideration of issues through two or three brief presentations by experts on the subject followed by equal time for discussion. Afternoon – three parallel working groups discussed and generated recommendations on ‘best practice’ to address the issues. Each individual completed a standard form asking them to list specific best practice recommendations to overcome the issues and rank these 1 to 5 (highest to lowest). Members of each group give feedback in turn on recommendations in priority order until the lists were exhausted or time exceeded. Groups discussed recommendations and where possible agreed on the ranking of the importance of the proposals. The afternoon was recorded to ensure that all aspects were captured and individual recommendation sheets and rankings were collated.
4. Editing of recommendations by the MORECare team to remove duplicates or merge similar proposals and remove any proposals which were strongly generic rather than EoLC specific.
5. Online consultation on recommendations– inviting all TEC attendees and the MORECare Project Advisory Group, that included the expert panel, to rank each proposal. Participants were asked to rate how much they agreed with each recommendation on a numerical scale from one (strongly disagree) to nine (strongly agree). They were able to make comments on each recommendation and general comments at the end of the consultation.
6. For each statement we report median agreement to determine the highest ranked items and interquartile (IQ) and total range to determine the degree of consensus. Narrative comments were collated.
  1. EoLC, end of life care; MORECare, methods of researching end of life care.