The Deliberative Polling® Process is a highly structured method that intends to measure the opinions of a statistically valid sample group of patient/public partners before and after they have had the opportunity to learn more about a particular research decision and the opportunity to discuss with and hear from different perspectives. Patient/public partners can be polled at the very beginning of the activity and then following the activity to see whether opinions change as a result of the information and deliberation that occurs during the activity. The process itself can include speakers (e.g. health researchers, healthcare consumer organization representatives, healthcare professionals, healthcare decision makers, patient partners), panels, informational materials, etc. around the research decision to be made.
Deliberative Polling® can be useful for:
- Acquiring insight on a complex research decision (e.g. “How should we collect data in a way that is sensitive and appropriate to the real-world context of people living with the health issue?” “What outcome measures matter most to people living with this health issue and how are we going to ensure the research reflects these priorities?”).
- Engaging a large group of patient/public partners around a health research decision, including those less inclined to speak (as polling is done anonymously).
- Creating an opportunity for patient/public partners to develop informed opinions about the research decision.
3. Fishkin & Luskin. Experimenting with a democratic ideal: Deliberative polling & public opinion. Acta Politica. (2005), 40: 284-298.