Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    A Simple Cost-Effectiveness Model of Screening: An Open-Source Teaching and Research Tool Coded in R
    Applied cost-effectiveness analysis models are an important tool for assessing health and economic effects of healthcare interventions but are not best suited for illustrating methods. Our objective is to provide a simple, open-source model for the simulation of disease-screening cost-effectiveness for teaching and research purposes. We introduce our model and provide an initial application to examine changes to the efficiency frontier as input parameters vary and to demonstrate face validity. We described a vectorised, discrete-event simulation of screening in R with an Excel interface to define parameters and inspect principal results. An R Shiny app permits dynamic interpretation of simulation outputs. An example with 8161 screening strategies illustrates the cost and effectiveness of varying the disease sojourn time, treatment effectiveness, and test performance characteristics and costs on screening policies. Many of our findings are intuitive and straightforward, such as a reduction in screening costs leading to decreased overall costs and improved cost-effectiveness. Others are less obvious and depend on whether we consider gross outcomes or those net to no screening. For instance, enhanced treatment of symptomatic disease increases gross effectiveness, but reduces the net effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of screening. A lengthening of the preclinical sojourn time has ambiguous effects relative to no screening, as cost-effectiveness improves for some strategies but deteriorates for others. Our simple model offers an accessible platform for methods research and teaching. We hope it will serve as a public good and promote an intuitive understanding of the cost-effectiveness of screening.
  • Publication
    Dealing with Time in Health Economic Evaluation: Methodological Issues and Recommendations for Practice
    Time is an important aspect of health economic evaluation, as the timing and duration of clinical events, healthcare interventions and their consequences all affect estimated costs and effects. These issues should be reflected in the design of health economic models. This article considers three important aspects of time in modelling: (1) which cohorts to simulate and how far into the future to extend the analysis; (2) the simulation of time, including the difference between discrete-time and continuous-time models, cycle lengths, and converting rates and probabilities; and (3) discounting future costs and effects to their present values. We provide a methodological overview of these issues and make recommendations to help inform both the conduct of cost-effectiveness analyses and the interpretation of their results. For choosing which cohorts to simulate and how many, we suggest analysts carefully assess potential reasons for variation in cost effectiveness between cohorts and the feasibility of subgroup-specific recommendations. For the simulation of time, we recommend using short cycles or continuous-time models to avoid biases and the need for half-cycle corrections, and provide advice on the correct conversion of transition probabilities in state transition models. Finally, for discounting, analysts should not only follow current guidance and report how discounting was conducted, especially in the case of differential discounting, but also seek to develop an understanding of its rationale. Our overall recommendations are that analysts explicitly state and justify their modelling choices regarding time and consider how alternative choices may impact on results.
      10Scopus© Citations 55