Healthcare Policy

Healthcare Policy 14(4) May 2019 : 28-38.doi:10.12927/hcpol.2019.25858
Research Paper

Deliberating as a Public Representative or as a Potential User? Two Complementary Perspectives that Should Inform Health Innovation Policy

Pascale Lehoux and S├ębastien Proulx


While public involvement in health policy is gaining traction around the world, deciding whether practitioners of public involvement should encourage participants to deliberate from a personal or a collective perspective remains an object of contention. Drawing on an empirical study, the aim of this article is to generate methodological insights into these two perspectives. Our qualitative analyses illustrate how members of the public contributed differently to deliberations about the value of health innovations by alternatively sharing views as public representatives and as potential users. When engaging as public representatives, participants raised important collective concerns, and, when engaging as potential users, participants brought concrete details and contextual nuances to the group exchanges. Because these perspectives entail different yet mutually challenging ways of appraising health innovations, public engagement practitioners should foster both personal and collective perspectives.



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