Time to consensus: the effect of the stomach on consensus decision-making at large conferences

Frank, Christopher; MacKnight, Christopher
December 2006
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;12/5/2006, Vol. 175 Issue 12, p1569
Academic Journal
Introduction: The factors affecting decision-making at consensus conferences are not well understood. This paper studies the complex association between time to consensus (TTC) and the timing and quality of food, as well as the self-reported level of frustration (PITA factor) with the question at hand. Methods: We came, we saw, we ate. Results: There was an association between the TTC and the time to eating, especially lunch. There was a trend to faster TTC the better the researchers rated the food. The speed of decision-making was also increased when the PITA score was high, especially late in the day. Interpretation: Organizers of large consensus conferences need to be aware of these factors in decision-making and should try to use them to get more controversial items voted to their satisfaction.


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