Three highlights from the ISPOR 17th Annual European Congress

December 17, 2014 Jessica Thilaganathan

This year the ISPOR Annual European Congress took place in the thriving city of Amsterdam.  In a city that never seems to sleep, the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre provided an excellent home for the ever-growing ISPOR contingent, with ISPOR president Adrian Towse announcing that attendance was up 10% over last year’s numbers.  Here are the highlights from our attendance.

With our posters at ISPOR EUMixed Methods Research
One of the hot topics was the use of mixed methods research in patient-centered outcomes research. It is believed that less common methods could be used in small studies where patient numbers are limited. In these cases getting patient information from new sources is essential. One potential way to do this is through the use of social media. However first we must overcome the challenge of demonstrating that information from patients via social media is relevant, and persuading regulators that it should be an acceptable source of data. I’m sure this will be discussed further in the following ISPOR meetings.

The challenges and solutions associated with the development and use of observer reported outcomes

Two case studies describing the development of observer reported outcomes were discussed to highlight the challenges associated with the development and validation of observer reported outcomes. During the development of an ObsRO for children with Cystic Fibrosis aged 0-6 years old, it was found that patients are required to report on observable signs in relation to respiratory and gastrointestinal functioning. This was a similar case for the development of the Pediatric Restless Legs Syndrome Severity Scale- Parent Questionnaire. Results showed that all items rely on the parents being with the child and observing closely. Both case studies sparked debate about the difference between parent’s interpretation of a child’s symptoms and the logistics around having an assigned parent to fill in the questionnaire exclusively. These are challenges which will still need to be resolved going forward. 

Group Concept Mapping
Tom Willgoss, Louise Humphrey and Tara Symonds hosted an interactive workshop which provided a great way to learn about group concept mapping. This seemingly inexpensive and rapid technique is used to augment the concept elicitation process in questionnaire design. The four key stages of group concept mapping were discussed, including concept generation, sorting, rating and mapping, and the process was brought to life as we carried out each stage for ‘conferencitis’, the condition we were all suffering from on the last day of a jam packed ISPOR meeting!

For more information on the ISPOR posters presented by CRF Health, please visit this page.

We look forward to hearing some solutions for the challenges discussed in upcoming conferences.

Best Regards,

Jessica Thilaganathan

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