Previously published as: Journal of Management in Medicine
Online from: 2003
Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare
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|Title:||The views of physicians and politicians concerning age-related prioritisation in healthcare|
|Author(s):||Elisabet Werntoft, (The Vardal Institute, Lund University, Lund, Sweden), Anna-Karin Edberg, (The Vardal Institute, Lund University, Lund, Sweden)|
|Citation:||Elisabet Werntoft, Anna-Karin Edberg, (2009) "The views of physicians and politicians concerning age-related prioritisation in healthcare", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 23 Iss: 1, pp.38 - 52|
|Keywords:||Age discrimination, Doctors, Health priority, Health services, Politics, Sweden, Waiting lists|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/14777260910942542 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Acknowledgements:||The authors are grateful to the politicians and physicians for their kind participation in the study. Thanks are also extended to Niklas Frost and Magnus Hovde for technical support, Per Nyberg for statistical advice, and Patricia Shrimpton for revising the language. This study was supported by grants from the Vardal Foundation, E2005 003, and The Crafoord Foundation.|
Purpose – The aim of this study is to describe the view of age-related prioritisation in health care among physicians and healthcare politicians and to compare their views regarding gender and age.
Design/methodology/approach – Swedish physicians (
Findings – A majority of the participants thought that age should not influence prioritisation, although more physicians than politicians thought that younger patients should be prioritised. There were also significant differences concerning their views on lifestyle-related diseases and on who should make decisions concerning both vertical and horizontal prioritisation. The comments indicated that the politicians referred to ethical principles as a basis for their standpoints while the physicians often referred to the importance of biological rather than chronological age.
Research limitations/implications – Web-based surveys as a method has its limitations as biased samples and biased returns could cause major problems, such as limited control over the drop-outs. The sample in this study was, however, judged to be representative.
Practical implications – The results indicate that supplementary guiding principles concerning prioritisation in healthcare are needed in order to facilitate decision-making concerning resource allocation on a local level.
Originality/value – This paper adds important knowledge about decision makers' views on age-related priorities in healthcare, thus contributing to scientific base for prioritisation in healthcare and the ongoing debate in society.
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