Exploring public perspectives on e-Health: findings from two citizen juries

Geraldine King, David James Heaney, D. Boddy, C O’Donnell , J Clark, F. Mair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Background Interest and investment in e-health continue to grow world-wide, but there remains relatively little engagement with the public on this subject, despite calls for more public involvement in health-care planning.

Design This study used two modified citizen juries to explore barriers and facilitators to e-health implementation and the priorities for future e-health research from the perspective of health service users and lay representatives. Citizen juries bring together a group of people to deliberate over a specific issue. They are given information and invited to ‘cross-examine’ witnesses during the process.

Results Jurors were very keen for lay views to be included in e-health development and embraced the citizen jury approach. They agreed unanimously that e-health should be developed and thought it was in many ways inevitable. Although there was much enthusiasm for a health-care system which offered e-health as an option, there was as much concern about what it might mean for patients if implemented inappropriately. E-health was preferred as an enhancement rather than substitute for, existing services. Lack of universal access was seen as a potential barrier to implementation but problems such as lack of computer literacy were seen as a temporary issue. Participants emphasized that e-health research needed to demonstrate both clinical and economic benefits.

Conclusion There was broad support from the citizen juries for the development of e-health, although participants stressed that e-health should enhance, rather than substitute, face-to-face services. One-day citizen juries proved a practical method of public engagement on this subject.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-360
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number4
Early online date28 Oct 2010
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • citizen juries
  • e-health
  • lay participation


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