Social values in health priority setting: a conceptual framework

Social values in health priority setting: a conceptual framework Purpose – It is commonly recognized that the setting of health priorities requires value judgements and that these judgements are social. Justifying social value judgements is an important element in any public justification of how priorities are set. The purpose of this paper is to review a number of social values relating both to the process and content of priority‐setting decisions. Design/methodology/approach – A set of key process and content values basic to health priority setting is outlined, and normative analysis applied to those values to identify their key features, possible interpretations in different cultural and institutional contexts, and interactions with other values. Findings – Process values are found to be closely linked, such that success in increasing, for example, transparency may depend on increasing participation or accountability, and “content” values are found often to be hidden in technical criteria. There is a complex interplay between value and technical components of priority setting, and between process and content values. Levels of economic development, culture and need will all play a part in determining how different systems balance the values in their decisions. Originality/value – Technical analyses of health priority setting are commonplace, but approaching the issues from the perspective of social values is a more recent approach and one which this paper seeks to refine and develop. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Health Organisation and Management Emerald Publishing

Social values in health priority setting: a conceptual framework

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1477-7266
DOI
10.1108/14777261211238954
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – It is commonly recognized that the setting of health priorities requires value judgements and that these judgements are social. Justifying social value judgements is an important element in any public justification of how priorities are set. The purpose of this paper is to review a number of social values relating both to the process and content of priority‐setting decisions. Design/methodology/approach – A set of key process and content values basic to health priority setting is outlined, and normative analysis applied to those values to identify their key features, possible interpretations in different cultural and institutional contexts, and interactions with other values. Findings – Process values are found to be closely linked, such that success in increasing, for example, transparency may depend on increasing participation or accountability, and “content” values are found often to be hidden in technical criteria. There is a complex interplay between value and technical components of priority setting, and between process and content values. Levels of economic development, culture and need will all play a part in determining how different systems balance the values in their decisions. Originality/value – Technical analyses of health priority setting are commonplace, but approaching the issues from the perspective of social values is a more recent approach and one which this paper seeks to refine and develop.

Journal

Journal of Health Organisation and ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 15, 2012

Keywords: Social values; Health organisation and management; Decision making; Health priority setting

References

  • Decisions on inclusion in the Swedish basic health care package: roles of cost‐effectiveness and need
    Bernfort, L.
  • Comparative effectiveness research and evidence‐based health policy: experience from four countries
    Chalkidou, K.; Tunis, S.; Lopert, R.; Rochaix, L.; Sawicki, P.T.; Nasser, M.; Xerri, B.
  • Trust and the development of health care as a social institution
    Gilson, L.
  • Key concepts in health care priority setting
    Hoedemaekers, R.; Dekkers, W.
  • An ethical analysis of international health priority setting
    Kenny, N.; Joffres, C.
  • The social value of health programmes: is age a relevant factor?
    Rodriguez, E.; Pinto, J.
  • Resource allocation, social values and the QALY: a review of the debate and empirical evidence
    Schwappach, D.

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