A systematic and critical review of the evolving methods and applications of value of information in academia and practice
SourcePharmacoeconomics, 31, 1, (2013), pp. 25-48
Article / Letter to editor
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Epidemiology, Biostatistics & HTA
SubjectNCEBP 11: Alzheimer Centre; NCEBP 2: Evaluation of complex medical interventions
OBJECTIVE: This article provides a systematic and critical review of the evolving methods and applications of value of information (VOI) in academia and practice and discusses where future research needs to be directed. METHODS: Published VOI studies were identified by conducting a computerized search on Scopus and ISI Web of Science from 1980 until December 2011 using pre-specified search terms. Only full-text papers that outlined and discussed VOI methods for medical decision making, and studies that applied VOI and explicitly discussed the results with a view to informing healthcare decision makers, were included. The included papers were divided into methodological and applied papers, based on the aim of the study. RESULTS: A total of 118 papers were included of which 50 % (n = 59) are methodological. A rapidly accumulating literature base on VOI from 1999 onwards for methodological papers and from 2005 onwards for applied papers is observed. Expected value of sample information (EVSI) is the preferred method of VOI to inform decision making regarding specific future studies, but real-life applications of EVSI remain scarce. Methodological challenges to VOI are numerous and include the high computational demands, dealing with non-linear models and interdependency between parameters, estimations of effective time horizons and patient populations, and structural uncertainties. CONCLUSION: VOI analysis receives increasing attention in both the methodological and the applied literature bases, but challenges to applying VOI in real-life decision making remain. For many technical and methodological challenges to VOI analytic solutions have been proposed in the literature, including leaner methods for VOI. Further research should also focus on the needs of decision makers regarding VOI.
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