Do Healthcare Professionals have Different Views about Healthcare Rationing than College Students? A Mixed Methods Study in Portugal

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JournalPublic Health Ethics
DateAccepted/In press - 17 May 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 17 May 2017
DatePublished (current) - 1 Apr 2018
Issue number1
Volume11
Pages (from-to)90-102
Early online date17/05/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The main aim of this paper is to investigate the views of healthcare professionals in Portugal about healthcare rationing, and compare them with the views of college students. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample of 60 healthcare professionals and 180 college students. Respondents faced a hypothetical rationing dilemma where they had to order four patients (differentiated by personal characteristics and health conditions) and justify their choices. Multinomial logistic regressions were used to test for differences in orderings, and content analysis to categorize the written justifications. The findings suggest that both groups appeared to support three main rationing principles: (i) health maximization, (ii) priority to the severely ill and (iii) priority to the young. However, professionals seemed to give less weight to the latter principle. In conclusion, professionals have similar views to students about healthcare rationing, though may be slightly less inclined to give priority to the young.

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