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Prioritization and resource allocation in health care. The views of older people receiving continuous public care and service.

  • Elisabet Werntoft
  • Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
  • Anna-Karin Edberg
Publishing year: 2007
Language: English
Pages: 117-128
Publication/Series: Health Expectations
Volume: 10
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

Objective To describe the views of people, 65 years and over, receiving continuous public care and service, on prioritization and resource allocation in health care, in relation to gender, age, housing, health-related quality of life (QoL) and degree of activities of daily living (ADL) dependency.

Background How older people receiving continuous public care and service view prioritization and resource allocation in health care is sparsely investigated, although this group most certainly has the experience and also often is the target in discussions concerning prioritization. It is necessary, for democracy and for the development of new models of service delivery, to find out how people receiving long-term care and service view these issues.

Design 146 persons, 34 men (23%) and 112 women (77%), aged 66–100 years were interviewed face to face, following a structured questionnaire.

Results The respondents thought that the patients’ well-being, way of living and family situation should affect prioritization, not age per se. Resourcing of several health-care services were considered to be below what is required by a majority of the respondents. The respondents wanted doctors to decide on prioritization at an individual level and wanted higher taxes to finance increasing health-care costs. Although the respondents wanted publicly financed health care, a relatively high number were willing to pay for treatment.

Conclusions Knowledge of how older people receiving care and services, view prioritization and resource allocation has not previously been available. It seems that their views are in line with the Swedish Parliamentary Priority Commission which suggested that no account should be taken of age when allocating resources within the health-care system. Respondents’ age, gender, housing, health-related QoL and degree of dependency in ADL had limited influence on their views of resource allocation.


  • Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences
  • Nursing


  • ISSN: 1369-6513
Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
E-mail: ingalill [dot] rahm_hallberg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emerita

Health-promoting Complex Interventions