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J Health Polit Policy Law. 2013 Oct;38(5):893-920. doi: 10.1215/03616878-2334656. Epub 2013 Jun 21.

What moves public opinion on health care? Individual experiences, system performance, and media framing.

Author information

1
McGill University.

Abstract

Although Canadians generally support their health care "model," dissatisfaction with health care policy and demands for fundamental changes in the system often surface in public opinion surveys. We seek to explain variations in levels of dissatisfaction and demands for health care reform with a series of micro- and macro-level analyses that account for a combination of individual experiences with health care delivery, broader measures of system performance, and media framing. Empirical analyses are guided by a model of opinion on policy that distinguishes between personal and collective, and prospective and retrospective assessments. This view helps make sense of the fact that those who use the system can have generally positive experiences even as there is decreasing confidence in the system's ability to meet future needs, and increasing demand for reform. What drives these divergent perceptions? We suggest that system performance plays a role in driving the long-term trend, but media content may also be an important driver as well, particularly for collective attitudes.

PMID:
23794742
DOI:
10.1215/03616878-2334656
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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