Public participation in healthcare priority setting: A systematic review

A. Farmakas, M. Theodorou, P. Galanis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Public participation in healthcare priority setting is one of the hot discussion topics especially in the developed Western countries. Evidently, public opinion on healthcare priorities and methods to explore those opinions are important research areas. OBJECTIVE: To explore public opinion concerning participation of the public in healthcare priority setting, as well as identify methods used when conducting these types of research. METHODS: A review of the available literature published between January 1, 1994 and February 1, 2014. We used the following key-words: public health participation, participation methods, health practices, health priorities, lay/public participation. Initial search gave 212 papers, 19 of which were included in the review. RESULTS: Results lead to more positive attitudes towards the active public participation, which can take various forms, such as discussions, exchange of views and consultation, also highlighting the importance of providing thorough information to the public (n=4). In relation to healthcare priority setting, there was evidence of variation in views and opinions expressed by the general population, patients and healthcare professionals as far as prioritization is concerned, with patients placing emphasis on treatment for acute conditions and diseases, while the medical and nursing staff highlighting treatment for chronic diseases. Focusing on studies conducted in various countries investigating public involvement and participation in healthcare priority setting, results show lack of meaningful and informed public participation (N=4). CONCLUSION: Health benefits and health deterioration caused by the lack of treatment were the two most important issues that citizens take into consideration to decide on healthcare priority setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalNursing Care and Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Healthcare priority
  • Participation
  • Participation methods
  • Public health participation


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