Are we over-estimating the value of further research? A review of methods used to estimate uptake in population expected value of information analyses

S Grimm, S Dixon, S W Stevens

ABSTRACT

Background: There is a lack of guidance on how population estimates should be obtained for expected value of information (EVI) analysis. We argue that disregarding uptake may lead to over-estimation of the population EVI (PEVI).
Aims: To investigate how population estimates for PEVI analyses were obtained, whether they were adjusted by uptake and what methods were employed to obtain the uptake estimates.
Methods: A literature search and review was conducted using the NHS Economic Evaluation Database (EED) and prior knowledge of relevant publications. Publications were excluded when they did not report PEVI estimates or were duplicates.
Results: Out of 43 records resulting from the CRD search and 3 relevant publications that were known to us prior to this study, 29 studies were included. Out of these, 27 had not adjusted their population estimate by uptake levels. The remaining 2 studies had obtained their uptake estimates from uptake levels reported in trials and based on assumption. Only 5 studies acknowledged uncertainty associated with the population estimate used.
Conclusion: Based on the result that very few PEVI studies had adjusted their population estimate by uptake and taking into account the large downward effect that uptake adjustments could have on the value of PEVI estimates, there is a need for discussion and further research around uptake adjustments in PEVI analyses.