Forensic Epidemiology

PERFORM

Development of the Principles of Evidence-based Reporting in Forensic Medicine (PERFORM) Guideline

There is increasing concern regarding the accuracy of the methods underlying forensic medical expert opinions. Current practice in forensic medicine often relies more on personal experience than on best available evidence, which renders assessment of the accuracy of forensic reports difficult. At the present time there are no internationally acknowledged guidelines for the necessary elements in the report of an forensic medical expert opinion. To overcome this deficiency, the present research project aims at obtaining international consensus on the minimum items that need to be included in a forensic medical expert opinion and how they should be reported.

The project will be conducted in three phases. In phase 1, a long-list of candidate items will be developed through a review of existing reports and a series of surveys. Phase 2 will consist of a three-round Delphi consensus process involving 100 international stakeholders of forensic medicine. In phase 3, the Principles of Evidence-based Reporting in Forensic Medicine (PERFORM) guideline and its explanation and elaboration (E&E) document will be developed and prepared for dissemination.

The outcome will consist of the PERFORM guideline and its E&E document.