Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Research Grant
Chief Investigators: Devlin N, Norman R, Viney R, Ratcliffe J, Dalziel K, Mulhern B, Hiscock H, Street D, Chen G.
Associate Investigators: Whitehurst D, Rowen D, Watson J, Shah K, Prosser L, Bansback N, Rivero-Arias O, Russo R, Snelling T.
Decisions about health care rely on evidence that treatments work and are value for money. There are established ways of measuring and valuing improvements to adult health using health related quality of life (HRQoL) questionnaires, but this is more challenging in children. Proxy completion of paediatric HRQoL can affect comparability. Different aspects of HRQoL will be relevant to children and adults – so there is a question about whether evidence on each can be directly compared in assessments of cost effectiveness. HRQoL data need to be summarised by a ‘value’ to estimate QALYs – but there are important unresolved issues about how best to obtain these values where children are concerned. Our research will comprehensively address these and related methods issues in measuring and valuing child health for use in assessing effectiveness and cost effectiveness. Outputs will include (i) a database of paediatric HRQoL data across different diseases, and evidence on how different questionnaires compare (ii) improved methods for self-and proxy-report (iii) state of the art methods for valuing children’s HRQoL, including an Australian value set for at least one widely-used paediatric measure (iv) evidence on the weight placed on child vs. adult QALYs by patients, the general public and decision makers. Together, these outputs will facilitate wider collection and use of HRQoL in children and more robust evidence.