Background In healthcare regulation, the subject of patient and family involvement figures increasingly prominently on the agenda. However, the literature on involving patient and families in regulation is still in its infancy. A systematic analysis of how patient and family involvement in regulation is accomplished across different health systems is lacking. We provide such an overview by mapping and classifying methods of patient and family involvement in regulatory practice in four countries; Norway, England, the Netherlands, and Australia. We thus provide a knowledge base that enables discussions about possible types of involvement, and advantages and difficulties of involvement encountered in practice. Methods The research design was a multiple case study of patient and family involvement in regulation in four countries. The authors collected 1) academic literature if available and 2) documents of regulators that describe user involvement. Based on the data collected, the authors from each country completed a pre-agreed template to describe the involvement methods. The following information was extracted and included if available: 1) Method of involvement, 2) Type of regulatory activity, 3) Purpose of involvement, 4) Who is involved and 5) Lessons learnt. Results Our mapping of involvement methods showed a range of methods being used in regulation, which we classified into four categories: individual proactive, individual reactive, collective proactive, and collective reactive methods. Reported advantages include: increased quality of regulation, increased legitimacy, perceived justice for those affected, and empowerment. Difficulties were also reported concerning: how to incorporate the input of users in decisions, the fact that not all users want to be involved, time and costs required, organizational procedures standing in the way of involvement, and dealing with emotions. Conclusions Our mapping of user involvement methods found a broad variety of involvement methods. These can serve as inspiration to regulators in healthcare. The paper shows that making involvement in regulation successful is a challenging and complex task. The fact that regulators are experimenting with different methods can be valued positively in this regard.

Patient involvement, family involvement, healthcare regulation, participation, decision-making, Norway, England, the Netherlands, Australia,
BMC Health Services Research
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Health Care Governance (HCG)

Wiig, S, Rutz, S., Boyd, A, Churruca, K., Kleefstra, S., Haraldseid-Driftla, C., … van de Bovenkamp, H.M. (2020). What methods are used to promote patient and family involvement in healthcare regulation? A case study across four countries. BMC Health Services Research. doi:10.21203/