DIRUM paper accepted in Value in Health

Friday 16 March 2012

Colin Ridyard and Dyfrig Hughes, on behalf of the DIRUM team, have recently had their article accepted for publication in Value in Health: "Development of a Database of Instruments for Resource Use Measurement (DIRUM): Purpose, feasibility and design"

Background: Health economists frequently rely on methods based on patient-recall to estimate resource utilisation.  However, access to questionnaires and diaries is often limited.  This study examines the feasibility of establishing an open-access database of instruments for resource use measurement (DIRUM), identifies relevant fields for data extraction and outlines its design.

Methods: An electronic survey was sent to: authors of full UK economic evaluations listed in the NHSEconomic Evaluation Database (2008-10); authors of monographs of Health Technology Assessments (1998-2010);and subscribers to the JISCMail health economics e-mailing list.  The survey included questions on piloting, validation, recall period and data capture method.  Responses were analysed and data extracted to generate relevant fields for the database.

Results: 143 responses to the survey provided data on 54 resource use instruments for inclusion in the database.  All were reliant on patient or carer-recall and a majority (47) were questionnaires.  Thirty-seven were designed for self-completion by the patient, carer or guardian and the remainder were designed for completion by researchers or healthcare professionals whilst interviewing patients.  Methods of development were diverse, particularly in areas such as the planning of resource itemisation (evident in 25 instruments), piloting (25) and validation (29).

Conclusion: Based on the present analysis, we have developed a web-accessible Database of Instruments for Resource Use Measurement (DIRUM), accessible via www.DIRUM.org. This database may serve as a practical resource for health economists, as well as a means to facilitate further research in the area of resource use data collection.

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