Dr Aileen Murphy
In developing service plans around cancer diagnoses and cancer care services reliable information is needed. Currently in Ireland lots of valuable information is stored across multiple sites and systems. Owing to technical and operational reasons connecting these is often not feasible. As a result, when gathering information to inform decisions around planning and implementation of cancer care, new data collection is often necessary. When collecting this new primary data, surveys and questionnaires are regularly used. This study, formulated with Breakthrough Cancer Research, conducts a literature review to identify the surveys available to collect data on hospital costs, resource use and financial toxicity amongst cancer patients and survivors. These surveys will be collated and presented in an inventory that will be available for future researchers to choose from when they are collecting similar information.
This research contributes to Breakthrough’s priority 6: invest in research-led innovation at every stage of the cancer patient journey from first diagnosis through to treatment, clinical trials and palliative care to improve survival and quality of life. Owing to scarce resources policy makers and system providers often have to choose between competing innovative alternatives. Economic evaluations provide relevant information to inform such decisions necessitating evidence and information on clinical benefits and costs. High quality information on costs is often missing or incomplete from these evaluations. The review and inventory produced through this study will increase awareness around collecting cost evidence so as to improve quality and quantity of such data.
The findings of the study will be collated and presented in an inventory that will be available for future researchers to choose from when they are collecting similar information. We envisage this will avoid delays when designing research studies and expenses associated with designing new surveys. Overall, we expect this will improve the quality of future studies, facilitating comparability between studies, and enhance the quality of information available to inform planning decisions around cancer diagnosis and care.