Development of an Instrument for the Assessment of Health-Related Multi-sectoral Resource Use in Europe: The PECUNIA RUM.
Pokhilenko I., Janssen LMM., Paulus ATG., Drost RMWA., Hollingworth W., Thorn JC., Noble S., Simon J., Fischer C., Mayer S., Salvador-Carulla L., Konnopka A., Hakkaart van Roijen L., Brodszky V., Park A-L., Evers SMAA., PECUNIA Group None.
BACKGROUND: Measuring objective resource-use quantities is important for generating valid cost estimates in economic evaluations. In the absence of acknowledged guidelines, measurement methods are often chosen based on practicality rather than methodological evidence. Furthermore, few resource-use measurement (RUM) instruments focus on the measurement of resource use in multiple societal sectors and their development process is rarely described. Thorn and colleagues proposed a stepwise approach to the development of RUM instruments, which has been used for developing cost questionnaires for specific trials. However, it remains unclear how this approach can be translated into practice and whether it is applicable to the development of generic self-reported RUM instruments and instruments measuring resource use in multiple sectors. This study provides a detailed description of the practical application of this stepwise approach to the development of a multi-sectoral RUM instrument developed within the ProgrammE in Costing, resource use measurement and outcome valuation for Use in multi-sectoral National and International health economic evaluAtions (PECUNIA) project. METHODS: For the development of the PECUNIA RUM, the methodological approach was based on best practice guidelines. The process included six steps, including the definition of the instrument attributes, identification of cost-driving elements in each sector, review of methodological literature and development of a harmonized cross-sectorial approach, development of questionnaire modules and their subsequent harmonization. RESULTS: The selected development approach was, overall, applicable to the development of the PECUNIA RUM. However, due to the complexity of the development of a multi-sectoral RUM instrument, additional steps such as establishing a uniform methodological basis, harmonization of questionnaire modules and involvement of a broader range of stakeholders (healthcare professionals, sector-specific experts, health economists) were needed. CONCLUSION: This is the first study that transparently describes the development process of a generic multi-sectoral RUM instrument in health economics and provides insights into the methodological aspects and overall validity of its development process.