Bringing value of information analysis to the masses – Challenges and practical steps
*Joshua T. Cohen, Tufts-New England Medical Center
Keywords: Value of information, uncertainty, sensitivity analysis, research priorities
Despite its potential to better target research resources, formal value of information (VOI) analysis is rarely used in the health economics literature. This talk discusses barriers to the use of formal VOI, including the need to specify 1) a set of alternative actions, 2) a value for potential outcomes using a common metric; 3) a prior distribution on uncertain parameters; and 4) possible outcomes of potential studies, how likely those outcomes are, and how those outcomes will revise the prior distributions on uncertain parameters. The talk describes how more readily conducted sensitivity and uncertainty analysis results can be used to inform VOI questions in the context of health economic evaluations. Because formal VOI can sometimes be most difficult to apply to the most important sources of uncertainty, less formal methods may be particularly valuable.