HERC Seminar: Gregory Merlo PhD Student CRE-RHAI, Queensland University of Technology

Economic evaluation is well regarded by policymakers as a tool for healthcare priority setting, but is often not used in practice. We explored the perspectives of both users (stakeholders) and producers (health economists) of economic evaluations to understand the underutilisation of economic evidence in healthcare decision making.

A mixed methods approach was used. Stakeholders (health professionals, healthcare administrators or managers, and health researchers) were surveyed to understand the factors that determine whether they use evidence from economic evaluations. The relative importance of these factors was measured using a discrete choice experiment. Perspectives of health economists were gathered through semi-structured interviews.

The survey was answered by 93 stakeholders. Important factors to stakeholders included quality of clinical evidence, quality of economic evidence, timeliness, applicability, communication and conflicts of interest. Ten health economists participated in semi-structured interviews. They discussed methods they used to translate their research into healthcare practice. Topics discussed included the nature of stakeholder engagement and how the production of economic evidence was tailored to meet specific contextual needs. It was generally considered best when stakeholder engagement begins early and is maintained throughout the research process.

These findings are being used to inform recommendations for translating evidence from economic evaluation into clinical practice. Such recommendations need to balance stakeholder needs with the constraints that health economists face.
Biography: Gregory has a Masters of Health Economics and over five years’ experience working in health economics and health technology assessment. Before joining Queensland University of Technology in mid-2013, Gregory was a senior analyst at a Sydney-based health technology assessment consultancy. Gregory is in the final year of his PhD, investigating the translation of evidence from economic evaluation into healthcare practice.
Time and Date: Thursday 5 November, 12-1pm
Venue: Richard Doll Building, Lecture Theatre