Social values and their role in allocating resources for new health technologies

  • Author / Creator
    Stafinski, Tania
  • Every healthcare system faces unlimited demands and limited resources, creating a need to make decisions that may limit access to some new, potentially effective technologies. It has become increasingly clearer that such decisions are more than technical ones. They require social value judgements - statements of the public’s distributive preferences for healthcare across the population. However, these value judgements largely remain ill-defined. The purpose of this thesis was to explicate distributive preferences of the public to inform funding/coverage decisions on new health technologies. It contains six papers. The first comprises a systematic review of current coverage processes around the world, including value assumptions embedded within them. The second paper presents findings from an expert workshop and key-informant interviews with senior-level healthcare decision-makers in Canada. A technology funding decision-making framework, informed by the results of the first paper and the experiences of these decision-makers, was developed. Their input also highlighted the lack of and need for information on values that reflect those of the Canadian public. The third paper provides a systematic review of empirical studies attempting to explicate distributive preferences of the public. It also includes an analysis of social value arguments found in appeals to negative coverage decisions. From the results of both components, possible approaches to eliciting social values from the public and a list of factors around which distributive preferences may be sought were compiled. Such factors represented characteristics of unique, competing patient populations. Building on findings from the third paper, the fourth paper describes a citizens’ jury held to explicate distributive preferences for new health technologies in Alberta, Canada. The jury involved a broadly representative sample of the public, who participated in decision simulation exercises involving trade-offs between patient populations characterized by different combinations of factors. A list of preference statements, demonstrating interactions among such factors, emerged. The fifth and sixth papers address methodological issues related to citizens’ juries, including the comparability of findings from those carried out in the same way but with different samples of the public, and the extent to which they changed the views of individuals who participate in them.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2010
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Yutaka Yasui, Department of Public Health Sciences
    • L. Duncan Saunders, Department of Public Health Sciences
    • Raisa Deber, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
    • Donald Philippon, School of Public Health
    • Deborah Marshall, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary
    • Tim Caulfield, Faculty of Law