Publication Abstract

Authors: Chubak J, Rutter CM, Kamineni A, Johnson EA, Stout NK, Weiss NS, Doria-Rose VP, Doubeni CA, Buist DS

Title: Measurement in comparative effectiveness research.

Journal: Am J Prev Med 44(5):513-9

Date: 2013 May

Abstract: Comparative effectiveness research (CER) on preventive services can shape policy and help patients, their providers, and public health practitioners select regimens and programs for disease prevention. Patients and providers need information about the relative effectiveness of various regimens they may choose. Decision makers need information about the relative effectiveness of various programs to offer or recommend. The goal of this paper is to define and differentiate measures of relative effectiveness of regimens and programs for disease prevention. Cancer screening is used to demonstrate how these measures differ in an example of two hypothetical screening regimens and programs. Conceptually and algebraically defined measures of relative regimen and program effectiveness also are presented. The measures evaluate preventive services that range from individual tests through organized, population-wide prevention programs. Examples illustrate how effective screening regimens may not result in effective screening programs and how measures can vary across subgroups and settings. Both regimen and program relative effectiveness measures assess benefits of prevention services in real-world settings, but each addresses different scientific and policy questions. As the body of CER grows, a common lexicon for various measures of relative effectiveness becomes increasingly important to facilitate communication and shared understanding among researchers, healthcare providers, patients, and policymakers.