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Comparative Policy Analysis: Identifying Policy Options for Team-Based Primary Care in Western Canada

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By: , , , & Published: 2018 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases
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Abstract

Health policy develops in complex ways. It is not a linear process, and we know it can be influenced by a range of contextual factors. Researchers have been looking at ways to incorporate contextual factors in policy reviews for a number of years. The hope is that a better understanding of the relationship between context and policy evolution might help identify the policy options most likely to work in different places. In a recent comparative analysis of policy on team-based primary health care in three Canadian provinces, we tried to introduce context sensitivity using Walt and Gilson’s “policy triangle” approach. There are a growing number of published studies referencing the policy triangle, but practical methodological guidance is still sparse. This case shares practical lessons and recommendations from our research using a policy triangle strategy. By describing our approach to searches, appraisal, information retrieval, data management, analysis, and reporting, our aim is to build researcher knowledge and capacity to conduct contextually sensitive health policy analysis.

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