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Does Deliberation Make a Difference? A Citizens' Panel Study of Health Goals Priority Setting

Abstract is available at "How to involve the public in setting health and health-care priorities is a constant challenge for health-system decisions. Policy-maker interest in involving the public in increasingly complex and value-laden priority-setting processes has led to the use of deliberative public-involvement methods designed to promote discussion and debate among participants with the objective of obtaining more informed and consensual views. These methods have not been evaluated rigorously using controlled designs with pre- and post-test measurements. We examined, using a controlled design, the effects of introducing different opportunities for deliberation into a process for obtaining public input into a community health goals priority setting process. Our findings indicate that deliberation does make a difference to participant views. As more deliberation is introduced, participant views may be more amenable to change." [excerpt from author's abstract]