Guideline Creation Process

The final phase of the FLoWS Research project is to combine findings from the data we collected with expert opinion and input to create a set of best practice guidelines for supporting the psychological wellbeing of frontline healthcare workers. 

To do this, we need to create an expert panel who will take part in what is called a Delphi study, which is a structured way to have a diverse group create a document together. This will all be done online, in distinct phases requiring minimal time commitments, and with anonymity assured. Further information on the whole process is below.

Frontline healthcare workers are the best experts on their own experience, so we aim to have many frontline workers involved in this process. This means anyone who worked with patients with confirmed or suspected COVID in a health setting are eligible to take part. If you have any questions about your eligibility or any other aspect of the study, please email us at

If you would like to take part in this process, please click the button below to submit some details to our research team. These details will be used to ensure the panel we create is a good representation of the mix of people who work in the health services. We will get back to you as soon as possible.  

Full Study Information

This Delphi process will follow a standardized approach for each participant containing three primary rounds or sections. A broad range of experts will be recruited from across Europe to take part, focusing on Ireland and Italy 


  • In Round 1, you and other expert panel members will be provided with a short brief on the data collected on the experiences of Irish and Italian frontline workers (FLWs) during the COVID pandemic in 2020 and 2021. You will be asked while accounting for this data, alongside your own individual expert opinion, to suggest some guidelines for supporting the psychological wellbeing of frontline workers, which can be as detailed or as simple as you like. No guideline suggestion is too small or too complex to be worthy of inclusion and we ask that you include as many as you think are possibly beneficial
  • Rounds 2 and 3 are scoring rounds which will be ran together. 
    • First, you will be presented with the collection of guidelines generated in Round 1 (minimally edited for conciseness). You will be asked to rate each of these based on how well you think they would meet the aim of supporting the mental wellbeing of frontline healthcare workers.
    • As experts rate the suggestions, you will be shown the average score each guideline has received when individual scores are tallied. In light of seeing how the group overall rates each guideline, you will be given the opportunity to adjust your rating if you wish.

  • The intention of a Delphi process is to reach a consensus between panel members, and the most effective way you can do that is through the contribution of specific guidelines, or specific themes which you believe can be beneficial and scoring respective guidelines honestly.

  • The final round will comprise of a smaller panel whose role is to assess feasibility and to mould any broad themes emerging through the Delphi that do not have specific guidelines associated with them, into a more actionable format. This sub-panel will then rate goals on a ‘traffic-light’ system based on the feasibility of immediate implementation to more longitudinal goals that are important but not as immediately actionable. 

Time Commitment 

We acknowledge the importance of your time and as such have worked out approximate estimations of how long each round will take. It is our expectation that each round take maximum 30-35 minutes depending on the depth and detail of each individual contribution.

Specifically, this time commitment may vary depending on

a) how many guidelines you recommend

b) the detail within those guidelines and

c) the amount of times you choose to re-score guidelines in light of updated averages


Throughout this process, we encourage members of the panel to be as honest about their recommendations as possible as at no point will individuals on the research team, or other members of the expert panel have any awareness of where a specific guideline or guideline rating has originated.

Similarly, unless otherwise agreed upon, panel members and institutional associations will not explicitly named in any publications to further protect one’s inclusion with the Delphi process. Any references to the panel or specific guidelines will be accredited to the expert panel collectively and trends will be similarly discussed. 

If you have any additional questions about the process, or wish to suggest any additional panel members you believe would be worthy of inclusion please contact us at