The Value of Information Study
To comprehensively assess the health-related consequences of a medical test, all its relevant effects should be evaluated, thus including the additional effects of testing that arise independently of the subsequent management decisions. At present, the ranges of these additional effects of testing and its mechanisms have not been systematically documented. A clear understanding of the mechanisms underlying these additional effects may help to optimize the benefits of using tests in clinical practice. This study will explore additional effects of testing on patients’ outcomes.
The range and mechanisms of additional effects of medical testing will be explored in focus group discussions with medical professionals. The focus group discussions will be transcribed verbatim. Transcriptions will be coded inductively and analyzed by three researchers. Based on this data we will construct a framework of additional effects of medical tests and their mechanisms.
Secondly, we will investigate additional effects of medical testing from a patients’ perspective. We will conduct semi-structured interviews with different groups of patients. This data will be used to adjust the conceptual framework of additional effects of medical testing.
Finally, we will use the results from the focus groups and patient interviews to develop an instrument that assists health researchers to systematically identify potential additional effects of medical testing. This instrument will be designed as a simple checklist, accompanied with instructions and explanations of each item. The instrument will be briefly evaluated for its psychometric properties:
Jolande Y. Vis, research physician, AMC.
Prof. Ben Willem J. Mol, gynecologist / epidemiologist, AMC.
Prof. Patrick M.M. Bossuyt, epidemiologist, KEBB, AMC.
Other steering board members
Prof. Carl (K.)G.M. Moons, epidemiologist, Julius Center, UMCU.
Kirsten J. McCaffery, senior research fellow, School of Public Health, University of Sydney.
Myra C. van Zwieten, ethicist and qualitative health researcher, AMC.
Marcel G.W. Dijkgraaf, epidemiologist, AMC.
Dossier number 80-82325-98-8011.
Jolande Y. Vis, MD, MSc.