CANADA-WIDE COLLABORATION EXPLORES HOW GENERIC QUALITY OF LIFE MEASURES PERFORM IN INDIVIDUALS LIVING WITH SPINAL CORD INJURY
Within all clinical areas there is a need for economic evaluation to determine the value of new and existing interventions, technologies and devices.
This need is driven by the issue of scarcity — the fundamental analytic consideration underlying the discipline of economics — and, more specifically, limited healthcare resources. In health economics, an important focus of outcomes research concerns ‘generic’ measurement of quality of life, an approach to quantifying health outcomes in a way that allows comparisons to be made across clinical areas.
In collaboration with the Rick Hansen Institute and the Health Outcomes and PharmacoEconomic (HOPE) Research Centre, C2E2’s Dr. David Whitehurst leads a research program that explores whether existing generic quality of life measures are fit for purpose within the context of spinal cord injury (SCI). “Our work has demonstrated a paucity of health economics research within the SCI literature, especially in relation to the types of outcome measure that are accepted and widely-used in many clinical areas,” Dr. Whitehurst says. “We held focus groups with SCI individuals in order to gain valuable insight regarding the extent to which current standardized questionnaires enabled the participants to describe their health in a manner deemed appropriate to the individuals themselves.”
Findings from the qualitative research were used to develop a nationwide survey (completed by over 350 individuals living with SCI) that explored the empirical validity of questionnaires considered ‘acceptable’ by the focus group participants. Future directions will be dependent on the results of the teams on-going analyses. As Dr. Whitehurst puts it, “We’re in unchartered territory and it’s not possible to say what the end product will be. One or more existing questionnaires may be shown to perform well. Alternatively, we may find that quality of life measurement for the purposes of economic evaluation in SCI needs a brand new outcome measure.”
C2E2 Rounds are presented Mondays from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm in room 700 of the VGH Research Pavilion, 828 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC.
Oct 21, 2019 // Heather McKay