EASD Study Group on Health Services Research and Health Economics

The brief overview of planning activities in 2018

At the end of 2017, the EASD Executive Committee endorsed the proposal to initiate a new EASD Study Group “Health Services Research and Health Economics”. The group is currently “in statu nascendi” and can be officially established during the 54th EASD Annual Meeting (EASD 2018) in Berlin in October 2018.

The EASD study group “Health Services Research and Health Economics” has been started by Professor Andrea Icks, the director of the Institute of Health Services Research and Health Economics at German Diabetes Center (DDZ) and at the Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Group established to bridge the gaps in the field of diabetes regarding health service research and health econpomics

Health service research is a multidisciplinary field investigating how social factors, financing systems, organisational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviours affect the access to health care, the quality and costs of health care, and ultimately our health and well-being. Health service research, along with health economics, is a well-established third research pillar complementing basic and clinical research.

Even though health service research and health economics have been considered early in the case of diabetes, there are still large gaps in the existing knowledge. Examples for remaining unanswered urgent questions are:

  • Which needs and preferences do patients with diabetes have? Knowledge with regard to this is marginal compared to e.g. knowledge for patients with cancer. How does the quality of life of patients with diabetes compare in different European countries?
  • What does an optimal care path for patients with late complications and comorbidities look like?
  • What is the clinical and cost-effectiveness of complex interventions to prevent diabetes and of interventions to take care of patients with diabetes and related complications under the conditions of the routine care?

Despite the importance of health service research and health economics in diabetes care, there is no study group in the EASD addressing this topic. The group is aiming at consolidating already existing research initiatives in economic aspects of clinical- and cost-effectiveness in routine care, efficiency of clinical research studies or interventions with emphasis on patient-centeredness.

Group will focus on predefined topics at the first stage

Due to the very broad interests declared at the start, we commence with predefined topics to start discussion and interaction right from the beginning. At the first stage, the group will focus on health care processes and patient-relevant outcomes in people with the diabetic foot syndrome- one of the most frequently occurring complications. Other complications will follow. Also, diabetes models combining existing knowledge from observational and intervention studies for the evaluation of clinical and cost-effectiveness of diabetes prevention and care are targeted as the first priority. Patient preferences is a further topic, which is considered to be of central importance in patient-centred care. Later on, we are planning to widen the list of topics, following suggestions of the members of the study group.

We intend to evaluate and advance methods used in Europe and worldwide. Based on this kind of partnerships, the group is going to establish joint research projects in an effort to further develop the link between basic science, clinical science and health service research studies.

Before the official launch, we will establish the Scientific Board of the study group. The Board will be summoned to define the aims and to finalise a plan for the next year.

Group will host three important events during EASD 2018

During the EASD 2018 the group will host three important events to which interested persons are kindly invited. First of all during an official kick-off meeting we present the new study group. The date will be announced as soon as possible. On 4th of October a symposium on patient preferences will take place. On 30th of September we will, in collaboration with the Diabetic Foot Study Group (DFSG) organise a symposium focussing on diabetic foot health-economic models. The symposium will highlight models built to evaluate clinical- and cost-effectiveness of interventions to prevent or care for diabetic foot complications. This symposium will build a bridge between the EASD 2018 and the renowned Mount Hood Challenge conference that will be hosted by the DDZ in Düsseldorf from 5 - 7 October 2018.

The EASD study group “Health Services Research and Health Economics” invites clinicians, health services researchers, economists and all scientists of related areas with an interest in the topic to the study group, the symposia and the Mount Hood Challenge conference. Details on how to participate will be published in May 2018.

If you are interesting in joining this new venture, please contact Professor Andrea Icks on andrea.icks@uni-duesseldorf.de.