Title: Swedish citizens' opinions on decision support in primary healthcare

Authors: Agneta Ranerup; Anna Bendz; Lars Norén

Addresses: Department of Applied IT, University of Gothenburg, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden ' Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, P.O. Box 711, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden ' Centre for Consumer Science, University of Gothenburg, P.O. Box 606, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden

Abstract: Choice reform in public healthcare includes the expectation that citizens will choose a healthcare provider. This paper investigates the informational support they need in order to choose a primary healthcare provider. The study is based on an electronic survey (n = 990) in Sweden. The Callon and Muniesa model is used as the paper's theoretical framework. This model, which describes the sequential phases of isolating alternatives, examining alternatives and ranking and making choices, emphasises that technological devices support consumer choice. The paper concludes that public healthcare web portals and information leaflets are more popular platforms than private healthcare web portals and social networks. The data citizens find most useful for examining alternatives are waiting times, doctors' competences and reception. The paper makes suggestions for the design of technological devices citizens can use to choose healthcare providers. The theoretical framework shows the technological and political character of information used to support choice.

Keywords: primary care; primary healthcare choice reform; e-government; electronic government; consumerism; information leaflets; decision support; public healthcare; web portals; internet; e-health; electronic healthcare; Sweden; healthcare providers; citizen choice; alternatives; ranking; social networks; waiting times; doctor competences; reception; healthcare provider selection.

DOI: 10.1504/EG.2013.052599

Electronic Government, an International Journal, 2013 Vol.10 No.2, pp.151 - 170

Published online: 21 Mar 2013 *

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