In scientific research, many decisions are needed. Some take scientific expertise, but others take knowing what people find important. Such 'value judgments' include: choosing a topic and how to study it, setting goals, and deciding how to share results.
Patients and the public can inform value judgments in research by being partners and sharing what is most important to them, including
- what is most important to know;
- what errors are most important to avoid.
This is necessary in health economics, the type of research that looks at health and costs as part of healthcare planning. This project will build on a study that asked health economists about value judgments, including whether and how value judgments in their studies could affect healthcare. In a new project, researchers will start a conversation with patients and the public about the same issue. First, they will create short videos about value judgments in research, including how health economists think about and manage them in their studies. Then, patients and the public who viewed the videos will be asked what they think. Could health economists do a better job of managing value judgments?
The study will help make sure health economics research in BC is clear, understandable, and done in partnership with patients and the public. It will help ensure that British Columbians' values are front and centre in research, including where to focus and how to manage possible errors in studies about healthcare.