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Table 4 Statements from Swedish focus groups with general practitioners (GP) and nurses (N) concerning the key priority-setting criteria (severity of health condition, patient benefit, and cost-effectiveness) that exemplify the category of evidence level.

From: Priority setting in primary health care - dilemmas and opportunities: a focus group study

Evidence level Severity of the health condition Patient benefit Cost-effectiveness of the intervention
Individual 1. When you have a patient in front of you... well, for that patient it might reduce functional capacity even if the disease normally doesn't.
(GP 1, Group 3)
2. If you make a home visit to an elderly patient that has had a fall, if the patient has a fracture of course there is a high degree of patient benefit, but if the patient doesn't have a fracture... the benefit isn't so great. It would heal anyway.
(N 2, Group 5)
4. It involves a cost when patients call. I mean, it takes time and so on... But you can fix it at home yourself, your immune system will fix it! If you come here it is a cost both for you and for us.
(N1, Group 6)
   3. For example a patient with a cold that comes to see a doctor. It isn't very important for this group of patients to see a doctor. There is little patient benefit in this case. But it may be of great benefit to the particular patient if he or she learns that he or she doesn't need to see a doctor the next time he or she gets a cold.
(N 4, Group 6)
Group 5. We have patients with chronic illnesses that are potentially, perhaps not fatal, but at least threaten the patient's quality of life and functional ability. There's a degree of this threat in most chronic illnesses. But if they are well monitored, and the symptoms are under control, I don't think I would call it extremely severe.
(GP 4, Group 1)
6. But if you prescribe medicine for blood pressure, then you know that, at best, 15% of those you give medicine will, if they follow your instructions, be helped by it.
(GP 3, Group 3)
7. Vaccination of the elderly against influenza, I have called that highly cost-effective, based on the recommendations of the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare. (N 1, Group 6)
  1. The statements are numbered in the order of their reference in the text.