Thursday, July 30, 2009

review of benefits and patient outcomes

We are carrying out an 'open rapid review' of the literature for NHS Choices entitled Benefits and Patient Outcomes of Digital Health Services and seek the help and collaboration of the global online community in e-health. Collection of 'references' will end on September 14th. We have set up a 'discussion forum' which we are using to collect and collate publications relevant to the review and we invite you to join this community. Anyone can join and contribute by registering with their name, organisation, role, and contact details. (These personal details will be kept confidential to the project but your username will be shown against any postings).

You can browse the forum postings of citation data and if you know of additional papers add these as new items. You can also add comments to existing papers citations (eg comments about quality or relevance). We are particularly keen to identify (a) existing systematic or other reviews (eg PhD chapters), (b) good quality studies that have only been published in the grey literature (such as final reports), and (c) work just completed or papers still in press.

REWARD! All postings of citations to the discussion forum that do not duplicate a previous post will be awarded a 'ticket' for a prize draw. Contributors to the review (apart from the core team) will be awarded up to a maximum of 20 tickets for a prize draw. The prize draw will be held on September 15th with 3 prizes of £500, £250 and £250 (total prizes = £1000) being awarded.

The literature review is (currently) in six sections:

1. Accessing care and Patient Choice.For example, studies that have examined the extent digital health services are enabling informed patient choice of treatment option, patient choice in finding and selecting providers and how different types of information affect patient's choice of providers or preferred setting (home/self care vs visiting doctor).

2. Healthy LivingFor example, studies assessing if people using online services have an improved understanding, changed behaviour, or improved health outcomes related to health determinants such as diet, alcohol, smoking, exercise etc., if there are improved health outcomes are occurring as a result of digital health services usage.

3. Quality of primary care consultationsFor example, studies of e-health methods on the efficiency of consultations, uptake and effectiveness of Information Prescriptions.

4. Long term conditionsStudies exploring if people with long term conditions benefit from using online services in quality of life, satisfaction, support, or health outcomes and if it helps them better manage their care.

5. Preventative servicesStudies that have explored the effect digital health services have in take up of screening or vaccinations services.In the above five sections we are particularly interested to be able to examine socio-economic, age, gender, ethnic and geographic differences and how e-health methods impact on health inequalities. We also need to be clear about the generalisability from one setting to another (eg an insurance or private health care setting to a national health setting). This review is on behalf of the NHS Choices and so we are mostly interested in studies which may impact on English NHS policy, but of course we are interested in studies and publications from anywhere in the world if their findings have impact for England.

6. Methods used: strengths and weaknessesMethodologies which have been used to evaluate digital health services, their strengths and weaknesses.If you think we really ought to have another section please let me know. We invite you to join us in this rapid review, to have access to the bibliographic data, and to have the chance of winning one of the three prizes, by going to

Best wishesRay


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