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Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis

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Role of health economic evaluation in family practices subject of June 3 seminar

27 May 2009

While the use of economic evaluation in managing Canada’s health care system continues to increase at the policy level of decision-making, its use at the clinical level remains limited.

As a considerable amount of resource allocation decisions take place at the clinical level, particularly in primary care, ignoring economic evaluation at this level could have a broad impact on health care efficiency.

A research project that aims to provide a better understanding of the role of economic evaluation in family practice will be the subject of a CHEPA seminar on June 3. Chantale Lessard, a visiting PhD student with CHEPA for the 2008-09 academic year, will present her research entitled Toward a better understanding of the role of health economic evaluation in family practice: philosophical, theoretical and methodological innovations, and empirical findings.

Knowledge translation of economic evaluation is often based on taken-for-granted assumptions about the interests and interactions of agents, neglecting much of the complexity of social reality. However, decision-making by family practitioners is a complex social and multifaceted process. Lessard’s research addresses the need to enhance understanding of the social processes that influence family practitioners’ knowledge, perceptions, attitudes, behaviours and views related to the role of economic evaluation evidence in the clinical setting. She is also examining the wider social relationships that influence decision makers’ willingness to contribute to efficient resource allocation.

She will share her preliminary findings from the research, which show that the patterns of relationships between physicians and structures may be the strongest influences on the role of economic evaluation in clinical practice.

The seminar will be held in HSC-1J8 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

Lessard is a licensed pharmacist and holds a master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences with specialization in outcomes research and pharmacoeconomics from the University of Montreal. She is working towards a PhD in Public Health with specialization in organization of health care, as well as a complementary Doctoral Diploma in Analysis and Evaluation of Health Interventions, in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Montreal.

She has been continuing her research at CHEPA since last September, as a visiting student in health economics under the supervision of CHEPA faculty Stephen Birch. Her research interests focus on the role of economic evaluation in the health care decision-making process, and the theory and practice of economic evaluation in health care.

Lessard holds a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Health Services and Policy Research and Knowledge Translation fellowship, and a complementary doctoral research award from CIHR’s Strategic Interdisciplinary Training Program. She has worked as a community pharmacist and as a clinical research associate in the pharmaceutical industry, and has served as a research consultant to private and government organizations, including the Agence d’évaluation des technologies et des modes d’intervention en santé du Québec and the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health.

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