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Medical Crowdfunding Can Shape People’s Attitudes to US Healthcare Reform

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Medical crowdfunding campaigns have the power to change social attitudes, but only for conservatives, according to new research from the University of Sussex Business School.

Researchers, Dr Krystallia Moysidou and Dr Smadar Cohen-Chen, have been investigating how crowdfunding platforms can shape public views and potentially alter political attitudes and perceptions of individual social responsibility.

Americans are increasingly turning to crowdfunding platforms to bankroll their health-related costs. However, although medical crowdfunding has rapidly become institutionalised as part of the US healthcare financing landscape, empirical evidence on how Americans perceive its role in healthcare and the impact it might have on public attitudes is scarce.

The researchers, analysed data from one correlational and one experimental study, discovering that political orientation is associated with Americans’ views on medical crowdfunding.

According to Dr Moysidou: “Specifically, we find that those who self-identified as conservative perceived medical crowdfunding as a valid part of the system, and more positively than a universal healthcare system. In contrast, medical crowdfunding is perceived less positively, as hindering a system of universal and affordable healthcare by those more liberally-oriented.”

Dr Cohen-Chen said: “Considering that conservatively-oriented individuals are the ones who have traditionally been opposed to a healthcare reform in the US, our results make a valuable contribution towards facilitating an open dialogue on reforming healthcare in the US.”

Their results are the first to empirically prove that these campaigns have the power to induce social attitudes that are conducive to change.

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