[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Health services are increasingly focused on measuring and monitoring outcomes, particularly those that reflect patients' priorities. To be meaningful, outcomes measured should be valued by patients and carers, be consistent with what health professionals seek to achieve, and be robust in terms of measurement properties. Methods: Relevant outcomes were identified from (i) qualitative research with children and young people with neurodisability and parent carers, (ii) Delphi survey with health professionals, and (iii) systematic review of PROMs. The International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health provided a common language to code aspects of health. A subset of stakeholders participated in a prioritisation meeting incorporating a Q-sorting task to discuss and rank aspects of health. Results: A total of 33 pertinent aspects of health were identified. Fifteen stakeholders from the qualitative and Delphi studies participated in the prioritisation meeting: 3 young people, 5 parent carers, and 7 health professionals. Aspects of health that emerged as more important for families and targets for health professionals were: communication, emotional wellbeing, pain, sleep, mobility, self-care, independence, mental health, community and social life, behaviour, toileting and safety. Whilst available PROMs measure many aspects of health in the ICF, no single PROM captures all the key domains prioritised as for children and young people with neurodisability. The paucity of scales for assessing communication was notable. Conclusions: We propose a core suite of key outcome domains for children with neurodisability that could be used in evaluative research, audit and as health service performance indicators. Future work could appraise domain-specific PROMs for these aspects of health; a single measure assessing the key aspects of health that could be applied across paediatric neurodisability remains to be developed.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective To seek a shared vision between families and clinicians regarding key aspects of health as outcomes, beyond mortality and morbidity, for children and young people with neurodisability. To appraise the appropriateness and measurement properties of multidimensional patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) to assess the outcome domains. Methods Relevant outcomes were identified from (i) qualitative research with children and young people with neurodi-sability and parent carers, (ii) Delphi survey with health professionals, and (iii) systematic review of PROMs. The International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health provided a common language to code aspects of health. A stakeholder group participated in a prioritisa-tion Q-sort task. Participants 54 children and young people with neurodisability and 53 parent carers participated in either focus groups or interviews; 262 multidisciplinary health professionals took part in one or more rounds of a Delphi survey. 15 stakeholders participated in a consensus meeting: 3 young people, 5 parent carers, and 7 multidisciplinary health professionals. Results The qualitative study and Delphi survey suggested a range of aspects of health that are important to service users and targeted by health professionals. There was partial but not complete overlap. Key outcome areas prioritised were: communication, emotional wellbeing, pain, sleep, mobility, self-care, independence, mental health, social activities; behaviour, toileting, and safety were also important to many parents. No single multidi-mensional PROM was identified that captured all the key aspects of health. Evidence was lacking of one or more measurement properties for all candidate PROMs in children and young people with neurodisability, and especially for preference-based measures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
In the UK, thousands of people with high cardiovascular risk are being identified by a national risk-assessment programme (NHS Health Checks). Waste the Waist is an evidence-informed, theory-driven (modified Health Action Process Approach), group-based intervention designed to promote healthy eating and physical activity for people with high cardiovascular risk. This pilot randomised controlled trial aimed to assess the feasibility of delivering the Waste the Waist intervention in UK primary care and of conducting a full-scale randomised controlled trial. We also conducted exploratory analyses of changes in weight.Methods
Patients aged 40¿74 with a Body Mass Index of 28 or more and high cardiovascular risk were identified from risk-assessment data or from practice database searches. Participants were randomised, using an online computerised randomisation algorithm, to receive usual care and standardised information on cardiovascular risk and lifestyle (Controls) or nine sessions of the Waste the Waist programme (Intervention). Group allocation was concealed until the point of randomisation. Thereafter, the statistician, but not participants or data collectors were blinded to group allocation. Weight, physical activity (accelerometry) and cardiovascular risk markers (blood tests) were measured at 0, 4 and 12 months.Results108 participants (22% of those approached) were recruited (55 intervention, 53 controls) from 6 practices and 89% provided data at both 4 and 12 months. Participants had a mean age of 65 and 70% were male. Intervention participants attended 72% of group sessions. Based on last observations carried forward, the intervention group did not lose significantly more weight than controls at 12 months, although the difference was significant when co-interventions and co-morbidities that could affect weight were taken into account (Mean Diff 2.6Kg. 95%CI: ¿4.8 to ¿0.3, p¿=¿0.025). No significant differences were found in physical activity.Conclusions
The Waste the Waist intervention is deliverable in UK primary care, has acceptable recruitment and retention rates and produces promising preliminary weight loss results. Subject to refinement of the physical activity component, it is now ready for evaluation in a full-scale trial.Trial registrationCurrent Controlled Trials ISRCTN10707899.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Challenges remain to find ways to support patients with depression who have low levels of physical activity (PA) to overcome perceived barriers and enhance the perceived value of PA for preventing future relapse. There is an evidence-base for behavioural activation (BA) for depression, which focuses on supporting patients to restore activities that have been avoided, but practitioners have no specific training in promoting PA. We aimed to design and evaluate an integrated BA and PA (BAcPAc) practitioner-led, written, self-help intervention to enhance both physical and mental health.
This study is informed by the Medical Research Council Complex Intervention Framework and describes a protocol for a pilot phase II randomised controlled trial (RCT) to test the feasibility and acceptability of the trial methods to inform a definitive phase III RCT. Following development of the augmented written self-help intervention (BAcPAc) incorporating behavioural activation with physical activity promotion, depressed adults are randomised to receive up to 12 sessions over a maximum of 4 months of either BAcPAc or behavioural activation alone within a written self-help format, which represents treatment as usual. The study is located within two ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ services in South West England, with both written self-help interventions supported by mental health paraprofessionals. Measures assessed at 4, 9, and 12 month follow-up include the following: CIS-R, PHQ-9, accelerometer recorded (4 months only) and self-reported PA, body mass index, blood pressure, Insomnia Severity Index, quality of life, and health and social care service use. Process evaluation will include analysis of recorded support sessions and patient and practitioner interviews. At the time of writing the study has recruited 60 patients.
The feasibility outcomes will inform a definitive RCT to assess the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the augmented BAcPAc written self-help intervention to reduce depression and depressive relapse, and bring about improvements across a range of physical health outcomes.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN74390532, 26.03.2013.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Informing the NHS Outcomes Framework: evaluating meaningful health outcomes for children with neurodisability using multiple methods including systematic review, qualitative research, Delphi survey and consensus meeting.
The identification of suitable outcome measures will improve the evaluation of integrated NHS care for the large number of children affected by neurodisability, and has the potential to encourage the provision of more appropriate and effective health care. This research sought to appraise the potential of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) for children and young people with neurodisability.
This research aimed (i) to identify key outcomes of health care for children with neurodisability, beyond morbidity and mortality, from the perspectives of children, parents and professionals; (ii) to critically appraise existing generic multidimensional PROMs; and (iii) to examine whether or not the key outcomes might be measured by existing PROMs. We also sought agreement on a definition of neurodisability.
Data were gathered in three main ways, (i) a systematic review identified eligible generic multidimensional PROMs and peer-reviewed studies evaluating psychometric performance using English-language questionnaires. Studies were appraised for methodological quality and psychometric performance was appraised using standard criteria. (ii) Focus groups and interviews with children and young people with neurodisability, and separately with parents, sought to identify important outcomes of NHS care, and their feedback on example PROM questionnaires. (iii) An online Delphi survey was conducted with a multidisciplinary sample of health professionals to seek agreement on appropriate NHS outcomes. In addition, we convened a consensus meeting with a small nominal group of young people, parents and professionals; the group sought agreement on a core set of important health outcomes.
From the systematic review, we identified 126 papers that reported eligible evidence regarding the psychometric performance of 25 PROMs. Evidence of psychometric robustness was more favourable for a small number of PROMs: KIDSCREEN (generic), DISABKIDS (chronic-generic) and Child Health Utility 9D (preference-based measure). The Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory and KINDL offer both self-report and a proxy report version for a range of age bands, but evidence of their psychometric performance was weaker. Evidence was lacking in one or more respects for all candidate PROMs, in both general populations and those with neurodisability. Proxy reporting was found generally to be poorly correlated with self-report. Focus groups and interviews included 54 children and young people, and 53 parents. The more important health outcomes were felt to be communication, emotional well-being, pain, mobility, independence/self-care, worry/mental health, social activities and sleep. In addition, parents of children with intellectual impairment identified behaviour, toileting and safety as important outcomes. Participants suggested problems with the face validity of example PROM questionnaires for measuring NHS care. In the Delphi survey, 276 clinicians from a wide range of professions contributed to at least one of four rounds. Professionals rated pain, hearing, seeing, sleep, toileting, mobility and communication as key goals for the NHS but also identified treating neurological symptoms as important. Professionals in the Delphi survey and parents working with the research team agreed a proposed definition for neurodisability. The consensus meeting confirmed overlap between the outcomes identified as important by young people, parents and professionals, but not complete agreement.
There was agreement between young people, parents and professionals regarding a core suite of more important health outcomes: communication, emotional well-being, pain, mobility, independence/self-care, worry/mental health, social activities and sleep. In addition, behaviour, toileting and safety were identified as important by parents. This research suggests that it would be appropriate to measure these constructs using PROMs to assess health care. None of the candidate PROMs in the review adequately captures all of the identified constructs, and there is inadequate evidence that candidate PROMs are psychometrically robust for use across children with neurodisability. Further consultation with young people, families and professionals is warranted to support the use of PROMs to measure NHS outcomes. Research to test potential PROMs with different age groups and conditions would be valuable.
The National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research programme.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Fatigue is a common and troubling symptom for people with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Aim To evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a six-session group-based programme for managing MS-fatigue (Fatigue: Applying Cognitive behavioural and Energy effectiveness Techniques to lifeStyle (FACETS)).
Methods Three-centre parallel arm randomised controlled trial with economic evaluation. Patients with MS and significant fatigue were randomised to FACETS plus current local practice (FACETS) or current local practice alone (CLP), using concealed computer-generated randomisation. Participant blinding was not possible. Primary outcomes were fatigue severity (Fatigue Assessment Instrument), self-efficacy (Multiple Sclerosis-Fatigue Self-Efficacy) and disease-specific quality of life (Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29)) at 1 and 4 months postintervention (follow-up 1 and 2). Quality adjusted life years (QALYs) were calculated (EuroQoL 5-Dimensions questionnaire and the Short-form 6-Dimensions questionnaire).
Results Between May 2008 and November 2009, 164 patients were randomised; primary outcome data were available for 146 (89%). Statistically significant differences favour the intervention group on fatigue self-efficacy at follow-up 1 (mean difference (MD) 9, 95% CI (4 to 14), standardised effect size (SES) 0.54, p=0.001) and follow-up 2 (MD 6, 95% CI (0 to 12), SES 0.36, p=0.05) and fatigue severity at follow-up 2 (MD −0.36, 95% CI (−0.63 to −0.08), SES −0.35, p=0.01) but no differences for MSIS-29 or QALYs. No adverse events reported. Estimated cost per person for FACETS is £453; findings suggest an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £2157 per additional person with a clinically significant improvement in fatigue.
Conclusions FACETS is effective in reducing fatigue severity and increasing fatigue self-efficacy. However, it is difficult to assess the additional cost in terms of cost-effectiveness (ie, cost per QALY) as improvements in fatigue are not reflected in the QALY outcomes, with no significant differences between FACETS and CLP. The strengths of this trial are its pragmatic nature and high external validity.
Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN76517470.
Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over the last three decades there has been a substantial increase in the proportion of children who are overweight or obese. The Healthy Lifestyles Programme (HeLP) is a novel school-based intervention, using highly interactive and creative delivery methods to prevent obesity in children.
We describe a cluster randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of HeLP. The intervention has been developed using intervention mapping (involving extensive stakeholder involvement) and has been guided by the Information, Motivation, Behavioural Skills model. HeLP includes creating a receptive environment, drama activities, goal setting and reinforcement activities and runs over three school terms. Piloting showed that 9 to 10 year olds were the most receptive and participative. This study aims to recruit 1,300 children from 32 schools (over half of which will have ≥19% of pupils eligible for free school meals) from the southwest of England. Participating schools will be randomised to intervention or control groups with baseline measures taken prior to randomisation. The primary outcome is change in body mass index standard deviation score (BMI SDS) at 24 months post baseline. Secondary outcomes include, waist circumference and percent body fat SDS and proportion of children classified as overweight or obese at 18 and 24 months and objectively measured physical activity and food intake at 18 months. Between-group comparisons will be made using random effects regression analysis taking into account the hierarchical nature of the study design. An economic evaluation will estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness of HeLP, compared to control, from the perspective of the National Health Service (NHS)/third party payer. An in-depth process evaluation will provide insight into how HeLP works, and whether there is any differential uptake or engagement with the programme.
The results of the trial will provide evidence on the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of the Healthy Lifestyles Programme in affecting the weight status of children.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Childhood overweight and obesity is a major public health priority. Overweight or obese children are likely to become overweight or obese adults, are likely to be at increased risk of a wide range of chronic diseases (eg, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers), and can have broader effects on lifestyle, health, and wellbeing compared with their peers. A clear need exists for cost-effective interventions or programmes that can help with the problems associated with childhood obesity. However, the conduct of cost-effectiveness analyses (and health technology assessment more broadly) in childhood obesity presents challenges. Translation of measures of effectiveness, for example body-mass index, into the potential effects of interventions on future health outcomes, such as prevention of diabetes, is one such challenge. The current methods available to model future outcomes in this way are limited. We aimed to develop a decision-analytic model to estimate the effect of interventions aimed at childhood overweight and obesity, for use in cost-effectiveness analyses in a public health context.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Helping smokers from disadvantaged backgrounds to reduce their smoking could result in more quit attempts and successful quitting, which in turn could help to tackle health inequalities. No study has assessed the effects of exercise counselling (delivered by health trainers) on smoking reduction and quitting, among hard-to-reach smokers. We aimed to assess recruitment methods in a trial targeting hard-to-reach smokers who wished to reduce but not quit smoking, without using nicotine replacement therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diagnosis of Alzheimers disease (AD) is often difficult, especially early in the disease process at the stage of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Yet, it is at this stage that treatment is most likely to be effective, so there would be great advantages in improving the diagnosis process. We describe and test a machine learning approach for personalized and cost-effective diagnosis of AD. It uses locally weighted learning to tailor a classifier model to each patient and computes the sequence of biomarkers most informative or cost-effective to diagnose patients. Using ADNI data, we classified AD vs. controls and MCI patients who progressed to AD within a year, against those who did not. The approach performed similarly to considering all data at once, while significantly reducing the number (and cost) of the biomarkers needed to achieve a confident diagnosis for each patient. Thus, it may contribute to a personalized and effective detection of AD, and may prove useful in clinical settings.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with increased use of health, social and education services. There is a lack of data to quantify the economic burden of ADHD in the UK. The aim of this study was to estimate additional education, health and social care costs amongst adolescents in the UK diagnosed with ADHD.
Participants were 143, 12- to 18-year-olds from the Cardiff longitudinal ADHD study. Service use relating to mental health over the previous year was measured using the children's service interview. Individual resource use was combined with unit cost data, from national sources, to calculate costs per patient and subsequently the mean cost per patient. Mean costs, 95% confidence intervals and median use were calculated using nonparametric bootstrapping methods.
The mean cost per adolescent for NHS, social care and education resources used in a 12-month period related to ADHD was £5,493 (£4,415.68, £6,678.61) in 2010 prices and the median was £2,327. Education and NHS resources accounted for approximately 76 and 24%, respectively. Estimated annual total UK costs are £670 million.
The additional costs to the NHS and education system of treating adolescents remain substantial for several years after the initial ADHD diagnosis. There exists a need to develop and evaluate early interventions which have the potential to reduce the longer-term burden, particularly on education resource use.
No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Social Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fatigue is one of the most commonly reported and debilitating symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS); approximately two-thirds of people with MS consider it to be one of their three most troubling symptoms. It may limit or prevent participation in everyday activities, work, leisure, and social pursuits, reduce psychological well-being and is one of the key precipitants of early retirement. Energy effectiveness approaches have been shown to be effective in reducing MS-fatigue, increasing self-efficacy and improving quality of life. Cognitive behavioural approaches have been found to be effective for managing fatigue in other conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, and more recently, in MS. The aim of this pragmatic trial is to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a recently developed group-based fatigue management intervention (that blends cognitive behavioural and energy effectiveness approaches) compared with current local practice.
This is a multi-centre parallel arm block-randomised controlled trial (RCT) of a six session group-based fatigue management intervention, delivered by health professionals, compared with current local practice. 180 consenting adults with a confirmed diagnosis of MS and significant fatigue levels, recruited via secondary/primary care or newsletters/websites, will be randomised to receive the fatigue management intervention or current local practice. An economic evaluation will be undertaken alongside the trial. Primary outcomes are fatigue severity, self-efficacy and disease-specific quality of life. Secondary outcomes include fatigue impact, general quality of life, mood, activity patterns, and cost-effectiveness. Outcomes in those receiving the fatigue management intervention will be measured 1 week prior to, and 1, 4, and 12 months after the intervention (and at equivalent times in those receiving current local practice). A qualitative component will examine what aspects of the fatigue management intervention participants found helpful/unhelpful and barriers to change.
This trial is the fourth stage of a research programme that has followed the Medical Research Council guidance for developing and evaluating complex interventions. What makes the intervention unique is that it blends cognitive behavioural and energy effectiveness approaches. A potential strength of the intervention is that it could be integrated into existing service delivery models as it has been designed to be delivered by staff already working with people with MS. Service users will be involved throughout this research.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN76517470.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To estimate the cost-effectiveness of temsirolimus compared to interferon-alpha for first line treatment of patients with advanced, poor prognosis renal cell carcinoma, from the perspective of the UK National Health Service.
A decision-analytic model was developed to estimate the cost-effectiveness of temsirolimus. The clinical effectiveness of temsirolimus compared with interferon-alpha and the utility values (using EQ-5D tariffs) were taken from a recent phase III randomized clinical trial. Cost data were obtained from published literature and based on current UK practice. The effect of parameter uncertainty on cost-effectiveness was explored through extensive one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses.
Compared to interferon-alpha, temsirolimus treatment resulted in an incremental cost per QALY gained of pound94,632; based on an estimated mean gain of 0.24 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) per patient, at a mean additional cost of pound22,331 (inflated to 2007/8). The cost per QALY for patient subgroups ranged from pound74,369 to pound154,752. The probability that temsirolimus is cost-effective compared to interferon-alpha at a willingness to pay threshold of pound30,000 per QALY for all patient groups is expected to be close to zero. The cost per QALY was sensitive to the clinical effectiveness parameters, health state utilities, drug costs and the cost of administration of temsirolimus.
Temsirolimus has been shown to be clinically effective compared to interferon-alpha offering additional health benefits, however, with a cost per QALY in excess of pound90,000, it may not be regarded as a cost-effective use of resources in some health care settings.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To estimate the cost-effectiveness of sorafenib (Nexavar, Bayer, Leverkusen, Germany) versus best supportive care (BSC) for second-line treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma from the perspective of the UK National Health Service.
A decision analytic model was developed to estimate the cost-effectiveness of sorafenib. The clinical effectiveness of sorafenib versus BSC was taken from a recent randomized phase III trial. Utility values were taken from a phase II trial of sunitinib, using EQ-5D tariffs. Cost data were obtained from published literature and were based on current UK practice. The effect of parameter uncertainty on cost-effectiveness was explored through extensive one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses.
Compared to BSC, sorafenib treatment resulted in an incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained of pound75,398, based on an estimated mean gain of 0.27 QALYs per patient, at a mean additional cost of pound20,063 (inflated to 2007/2008). The probability that sorafenib is cost-effective compared to BSC at a willingness to pay threshold of pound30,000 per QALY is 0.0%. In sensitivity analysis, estimates of cost per QALY were sensitive to changes in the clinical effectiveness parameters, and to health state utilities and drug costs.
Sorafenib has been shown to be clinically effective compared to BSC, offering additional health benefits; however, with a cost per QALY in excess of pound70,000, it may not be regarded as a cost-effective use of resources in some health-care settings.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study assesses the impact of the English National Health Service (NHS) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) program using the "payback" framework.
A survey of lead investigators of all research projects funded by the HTA program 1993--2003 supplemented by more detailed case studies of sixteen projects.
Of 204 eligible projects, replies were received from 133 or 65 percent. The mean number of peer-reviewed publications per project was 2.9. Seventy-three percent of projects claimed to have had had an impact on policy and 42 percent on behavior. Technology Assessment Reports for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) had fewer than average publications but greater impact on policy. Half of all projects went on to secure further funding. The case studies confirmed the survey findings and indicated factors associated with impact.
The HTA program performed relatively well in terms of "payback." Facilitating factors included the program's emphasis on topics that matter to the NHS, rigorous methods and the existence of "policy customers" such as NICE.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2009 · International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care