Latest Good Research Practices Task Force Report from ISPOR

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The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) task force publishes latest guidelines.


RTI Health Solutions' Brett Hauber, PhD, Lead Author and Task Force Chair

The latest report from the ISPOR Good Research Practices task force centers on preference-based methods that measure patient and other stakeholder preferences. As health care moves towards patient-centricity, researchers have increasingly engaged patients by involving them in the process through these research methods. The task force report appears in the June 2016 issue (Volume 19, Issue 4) of Value in Health

Discrete Choice Experiments

The guidelines specifically focus on analyzing and interpreting data gathered by discrete-choice experiments (DCEs). DCEs are a type of stated-preference survey method that has soared in use to measure priorities and values of patients, caregivers, physicians, and other health care decision makers. DCEs involve asking patients what they would do when confronted with a real-life situation that involves tradeoffs. The resulting scores measure the patients’ priorities and the relative importance of different features of the treatment or health service.

For example, the Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new medical device for weight loss treatment taking into account the results of a DCE study that it conducted to evaluate the tradeoffs patients are willing to make among safety, effectiveness, and other aspects of a weight-loss device. This was the first FDA-sponsored study designed to obtain quantitative patient-preference evidence to be used to support a regulatory approval decision.

Validity of Research

While much good outcomes research is conducted using DCEs, the data must be properly analyzed and correctly interpreted for the results to be valid. If researchers misunderstand DCE data properties or the analysis method, they can draw incorrect conclusions. The Task Force addressed this issue by providing a solid explanation of DCE data fundamentals—how to set up the data, as well as the properties, advantages, and limitations of different statistical methods.

According to lead author and Task Force Chair, Brett Hauber, PhD, of RTI Health Solutions, “We determined that a pragmatic introduction to different statistical analysis methods was needed—highlighting the differences among methods and identifying the strengths and limitations of each method.” In addition, the Task Force developed a useful tool for researchers, the ESTIMATE Checklist, composed of questions to consider when selecting the analysis method, describing the analysis, and interpreting the results.

Click here to view the complete press release for further information.

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