Public engagement in priority-setting: Results from a pan-Canadian survey of decision-makers in cancer control

Dean A. Regier, Colene Bentley, Craig Mitton, Stirling Bryan, Michael M. Burgess, Ellen Chesney, Andy Coldman, Jennifer Gibson, Jeffrey S Hoch, Syed Rahman, Mona Sabharwal, Carol Sawka, Victoria Schuckel, Stuart J. Peacock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Decision-makers are challenged to incorporate public input into priority-setting decisions. We conducted a pan-Canadian survey of decision-makers in cancer control to investigate the types of evidence, especially evidence supplied by the public, that are utilized in health care priority-setting. We further examined how normative attitudes and contextual factors influence the use of public engagement as evidence at the committee level. Administered between November and December 2012, 67 respondents from 117 invited individuals participated in the survey. The results indicated that public engagement was infrequently utilized compared to clinical effectiveness evidence or cost evidence. General positive agreement between normative attitudes towards the use of evidence and the frequency of evidence utilization was observed, but absence of correlative agreement was found for the types of evidence that are supplied by the general public and for cost-effectiveness inputs. Regression analyses suggested that public engagement was unevenly utilized between jurisdictions and that educational background and barriers to implementing public input may decrease the odds of using public engagement as evidence. We recommend that institutions establish a link between committee members' normative attitudes for using public engagement and its real-world utilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-139
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Canada
  • Health care decision-making
  • Health policy
  • Priority setting
  • Public engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Medicine(all)


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