Do NHS clinicians and members of the public share the same views about reducing inequalities in health?

Title: Do NHS clinicians and members of the public share the same views about reducing inequalities in health?
Authors: Tsuchiya , Aki and Dolan, Paul
Publisher: Social science & medicine, 64 (12). pp. 2499-2503
ISSN: 0277-9536
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Abstract: Decisions about how to allocate resources in health care are as much about social value judgements as they are about getting the medical facts right. In this context, it is important to compare the social preferences of members of the general public with those of National Health Service (NHS) staff involved in service delivery. A questionnaire eliciting peoples’ preferences over maximising life expectancy and reducing inequalities in life expectancy between the highest and lowest social classes was completed by 271 members of the UK public and 220 NHS clinicians. The two samples have different preferences with the general public showing a greater willingness than clinicians to sacrifice total health for a more equal distribution of health. These differences may highlight tensions between what the public wants and what clinicians want, and should be subject to further investigation.

How can measures of subjective well-being be used to inform public policy?

Title:  How can measures of subjective well-being be used to inform public policy?
Authors: Dolan, Paul and White, Mathew P.
Publisher: Perspectives on psychological science, 2 (1). pp. 71-85
ISSN: 1745-6916

Abstract: The debate surrounding the use of subjective measures of well-being for policy purposes has intensified in recent years. Many social scientists are arguing that the time is right for policymakers to extend their traditional focus on material well-being and economic development to include the impact policies have on how people think and feel about their lives. However, policymakers may have many legitimate goals beyond making people happy. In this article, we begin by presenting three archetypal accounts of well-being that policymakers could use to guide policy (mental-state, objective-list, and desire-fulfillment accounts) and discussing some of the normative and methodological limitations of each. We discuss how a subjective (mental-state) approach could be used to aid the achievement of objective-list and desire-fulfillment policy goals. We then consider ways in which a subjective approach may benefit policymakers in its own right, such as by aiding the valuation of hard-to-quantify costs and benefits, providing a standard unit of measurement for comparisons of well-being across domains, and helping to set policy defaults. We conclude with a discussion of some of the remaining measurement issues and general policy implications.

It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it: characteristics of procedural justice and their importance in social decision-making

Title: It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it: characteristics of procedural justice and their importance in social decision-making
Authors: Dolan, Paul and Edlin, Richard and Tsuchiya , Aki and Wailoo, Allan
Publisher: Journal of economic behavior & organization, 64 (1). pp. 157-170
ISSN: 0167-2681
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Abstract: Standard welfare economic analysis evaluates all actions by their consequences. However, evidence from other disciplines suggests that the procedures by which decisions are made also affects the welfare of individuals. This paper outlines six characteristics on which judgements about procedural justice may be based. Using the example of health care rationing, we examine the importance of each characteristic using qualitative and quantitative methods. We further consider the importance of each of these characteristics relative to one another and examine whether they are important for consequential or non-consequential reasons.