Methods to place a value on additional evidence were illustrated using a case study of corticosteroids following traumatic brain injury

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OBJECTIVES: To establish whether evidence about the effectiveness of a healthcare intervention is sufficient to justify use of the intervention in practice and show how value of information (VOI) analysis can be used to place a value on the need for additional evidence and inform research prioritisation decisions.

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Meta-analysis provides an estimate of the effect of an intervention with some level of uncertainty. VOI analysis determines the adverse health consequences of not resolving this uncertainty. A case study examining the evidence before the high profile trial of Corticosteroid Randomisation After Significant Head injury (CRASH) shows the consequences on patient outcomes if this trial had not been successfully funded.

RESULTS: The consequences of uncertainty before CRASH were high at 40 deaths and 1,067 years of full health per annum. VOI analysis indicates that CRASH was worthwhile and the UK National Health Service would have had to spend an additional £205 million elsewhere to generate health benefits similar to CRASH.

CONCLUSIONS: VOI analysis can be integrated with the results of meta-analysis to help inform whether a particular research proposal is potentially worthwhile and whether it should be prioritised over other research topics that could be commissioned with the same resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Early online date18 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

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