Instrument review: Getting the most from a panel of experts
Authors on research methods frequently recommend the use of a panel of experts to maximize the likelihood of content-valid, well-constructed data collection instruments. Figure 3 summarizes the panel review process as a series of steps, beginning with the first draft of an instrument and ending with the pilot testing of the instrument. When items are revised as a result of expert reviews, the revised instrument also should be subjected to this same series of steps. This article has been an attempt to provide criteria for selecting expert reviewers and maximizing their participation in assessment of data collection instruments. Panel reviews provide opportunities for investigators to secure valuable expert consultation from colleagues in nursing and other disciplines. Careful use of this expertise is one of the most important components of the instrument development process. Finally, an investigator also should keep in mind that the experts who participate in instrument review have a professional investment in the study. As such, it is an expected courtesy to inform experts of the subsequent performance of the instruments they have reviewed, as well as the outcomes of the study.