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October 15, 1982

The Consensus Development Process for Medical Technologies: A Cross-cultural Comparison of Sweden and the United States

JAMA. 1982;248(15):1880-1882. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330150066031

The consensus development process is a unique means of technology assessment to facilitate the transfer of biomedical research results into practice. It has been developed in recent years and implemented by the Office for Medical Applications of Research (OMAR), National Institutes of Health (NIH).1,2 During 1982, a consensus development conference on hip joint replacement was held in the United States, and, two months later, a similar conference on this topic was held in Sweden. In this editorial we present our analysis of these two consensus development conferences and draw conclusions about the cross-cultural functioning of the consensus development process in two quite different cultures with sharply contrasting health care systems. It is clear that in spite of these important differences, the consensus development process carried out in contrasting settings produces consensus statements that are remarkably similar.

Cross-cultural Study of Consensus Development Conferences  Early this year, a pair of Consensus