The identification and review of cost effectiveness model parameters: a qualitative study

M Essat, P Tappenden, E Kaltenthaler S Paisley


Objectives: Health economic models are developed as part of the health technology assessment process in order to determine whether health interventions represent good value for money. These models are often used to directly inform health care decision-making and policy. The information needs for the model require the use of other types of information beyond clinical effectiveness evidence in order to populate the model parameters. The purpose of this research study was to explore issues concerned with the identification and use of information for the development of such models.
Methods: Three focus groups were held in February 2011 at the University of Sheffield with 13 UK HTA experts. Attendees included health economic modellers, information specialists and systematic reviewers. Qualitative framework analysis was used to analyse the focus group data.
Results: Six key themes, with related sub themes, were identified. The themes were model development, searching issues, reviewing issues, communication, knowledge and experience and reporting issues. There was considerable overlap between themes.
Conclusions: Key issues raised by the respondents included the need for effective communication and teamwork throughout the model development process, the importance of using clinical experts as well as the need for transparent reporting of methods and decisions.