Background: Public participation in health policy decision making is thought to improve the quality of the decisions and enhance their legitimacy. Citizen/Community Juries (CJs) are a form of public participation that aims to elicit an informed community perspective on controversial topics. Reporting standards for CJ processes have already been proposed. However, less clarity exists about the standards for what constitutes a good quality CJ deliberation-we aim to begin to address this gap here.
Methods: We identified the goals that underlie CJs and searched the literature to identify existing frameworks assessing the quality of CJ deliberations. We then mapped the items constituting these frameworks onto the CJ goals; where none of the frameworks addressed one of the CJ goals, we generated additional items that did map onto the goal.
Results: This yielded a single operationalized deductive coding framework, consisting of four deliberation elements and four recommendation elements. The deliberation elements focus on the following: jurors' preferences and values, engagement with each other, referencing expert information and enrichment of the deliberation. The recommendation elements focus on the following: reaching a clear and identifiable recommendation, whether the recommendation directly addresses the CJ question, justification for the recommendation and adoption of societal (rather than individual) perspective. To explore the alignment between this framework and the goals underlying CJs, we mapped the operationalized framework onto the transcripts of a CJ.
Conclusion: Results suggest that framework items map well onto what transpires in an actual CJ deliberation. Further testing of the validity, generalizability and reliability of the framework is planned.