Myeloma UK has awarded a health services research grant to The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), to fund an exploratory study on how patient preferences could be captured and included in Health Technology Assessment (HTA).
The £120,000 grant will fund a two year methodological study at NICE. It will explore best practice in the use of different methods and technologies for capturing information about patient preferences relating to their condition and the treatments they receive for it. The study will be undertaken in consultation with patient groups, experts and other leading HTA bodies across the world.
The Health Services Research programme at Myeloma UK focuses on obtaining high quality evidence to help improve patient outcomes, wellbeing and quality of life, and looks to shape improvements in the way healthcare is funded and delivered. Following a competitive open grant round, the NICE study was one of two research proposals to be awarded funding.
Myeloma UK Health Services Research Manager Sarah Richard said, "We are pleased to be working in partnership with NICE on this innovative study. Looking at how new methodologies can enhance the role of patient perspectives in the Health Technology Assessment process is an under-researched but critically important area.
"Health Technology Assessment bodies need robust evidence on the perspectives of patients in the evidence they consider. This research study takes an innovative and forward-looking approach to establish best practice in the field of patient-centred decision-making. It could have a very tangible impact across the healthcare system."
The research will be led by Professor Sarah Garner, associate director of NICE Science Policy and Research Programme.
Garner adds: "All of NICE's guidance processes include evidence from patients. This usually comes in the form of submissions from support groups and expert testimony. Occasionally NICE receives surveys or qualitative evidence.
"We have always strived to understand what matters most to patients when we are assessing treatments for them. For example preferences for trade-off between potential benefits and side effects, on how treatments are administered and what matters to patients in terms of potential impact on their daily lives.
"We now want to explore whether we can quantitatively capture patients' preferences so they can be incorporated alongside other data in decision-modelling.
"We are delighted to have won this grant and we look forward to working with Myeloma UK on this exciting project."