Health technology assessment and ill-structured problems: a case study concerning the drug mebeverine.
until further notice
SourceInternational Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, 23, 3, (2007), pp. 316-323
Article / Letter to editor
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Epidemiology, Biostatistics & HTA
International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care
SubjectEBP 2: Effective Hospital Care; NCEBP 2: Evaluation of complex medical interventions; EBP 2: Effective Hospital Care
OBJECTIVES: The practical significance of health technology assessment (HTA) in policy decisions or clinical practice has been challenged. Possibly, problem definitions underlying HTA do not concur sufficiently with the problem definitions held by policy makers or clinicians. We performed an in-depth case study on mebeverine, a drug prescribed to patients with irritable bowel syndrome, to explore this hypothesis. METHODS: The theoretical framework was provided by the theory of argumentative policy analysis. We analyzed documents and held semistructured interviews to collect data. We reconstructed interpretative frames to analyze actors' argumentation. RESULTS: The funding and usage problems relating to mebeverine were ill-structured. Actors disagreed on the information needed and the norms at stake. As a result, the problem definition shifted, and the resulting problem definitions failed to correspond with the problems perceived by the target populations. CONCLUSIONS: To ensure that future studies on healthcare problems are useful, it is imperative that policy makers take the problem definitions of potential users into account.
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