On 24 October 2019 EuroQol and NICE announced that a new EQ-5D-5L valuation study will be undertaken in the UK, following NICE’s decision not to use the EQ-5D-5L value set for England (Devlin et al 2018). This new study will be funded and managed by EuroQol. NICE, the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England will advise on the study. Researchers are hereby invited to express their interest in participating in this new EQ-5D-5L valuation study in the UK.
Features of the new study
The new study will be funded by the EuroQol Research Foundation. The study team will be responsible for writing the study protocol and analysis plan, obtaining ethical approval, collecting the data, modelling the data to produce a value set, and writing publications and communications material. This work will be overseen by a Steering Group, which currently includes representatives from EuroQol, NICE, the Department of Health and Social Care, and NHS England.
The arrangements for study governance are described in a separate document.
Regarding study personnel and funding:
- The study will be undertaken by a Research Consortium (the “study team”) led by a principal investigator (PI).
- Researchers interested in applying for the study should be knowledgeable regarding the EQ-5D and have significant experience in managing field-work data collection and modelling valuation data.
- Once the study team has been appointed the EuroQol EQ-VT support team will work with the study team to write the study protocol and analysis plan. They will also help the study team to come up with a realistic study budget and timeline estimates. The EuroQol budget guidelines will be used for the study. Funding decisions will be made by the Executive Committee of the EuroQol Group.
- Each participating institute in the Research Consortium is eligible to have at least one author contributing to the value set publication. Final decisions on authorship and authorship ordering will rest with the Steering Group, in consultation with the PI and will depend on contribution to the project. All other individual consortium members will be listed in the article by-line.
The data collection is expected to begin in late 2020 and the value set is expected to be created by late 2021.
The Steering Group has already agreed on several key aspects of the study design:
- The time trade-off (TTO) module of the latest version of the international standard valuation study protocol (EQ-VT v2.1) will be used. The latest protocol has been shown to be effective in controlling interviewer effects and has been used in at least seventeen countries.
- The fieldwork will be conducted by trained members of the study team. A small interview team will be used, in order to minimise the impact of interviewer effects.
- The EuroQol EQ-VT support team will provide support to the study team to monitor interview quality, as is standard in EQ-VT v2.1.
- Subject recruitment will occur in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Recruitment will not be determined by postcode, but by using quota sampling. The quotas will be set, for example, by age, gender, socioeconomic status, location and any other characteristics determined important by the study team.
- Only time trade-off (TTO) data will be collected. The rationale is that TTO-only models are more readily interpretable than hybrid models (which combine TTO and discrete-choice experiment data).
- Independent Quality Control (QC) will be built in at every stage, with a QC review of at least 4 study milestones: study protocol (including data modelling plan), interim analyses, the final data set, and the final value set.
The Steering Group has not yet agreed the sample size and coverage (that is, the selection of health states to be valued). These aspects of study design were commented on during quality assurance and expert review of the first English 5L valuation study. The study team may propose to use the standard EuroQol sample size and coverage, or to increase the sample size and coverage.
Call for expression of interest
We invite expressions of interest from researchers to participate in the new EQ-5D-5L valuation study for the UK. Broadly, there are three ways for researchers to participate:
- Become the principal investigator. Researchers in the UK can apply to become PI, who will lead a team within his/her institution and will oversee the work of collaborating centres in the Consortium.
- Become the site investigator of a collaborating centre. Ideally around 4 centres in the UK will participate; the site investigator of a collaborating centre will need to make scientific staff available for the fieldwork, and/or the analysis and reporting.
- Become a member of the Steering Group. The Steering Group has a formal decision-making role and will provide advice and guidance to the study team. Their involvement will encompass the study period and beyond, to include discussion around implementation of the value set with policy-makers in the UK. Currently, representatives from NICE, NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care and EuroQol are on the Steering Group. We would like to add two members to the Steering Group who have a strong background in health-state valuation studies and/or valuation-data modelling. The Steering Group will meet in person several times over the course of the study, with further input via teleconferences and email. Membership of the Steering Group is open to researchers from the UK and abroad.
Please note that researchers do not have to be members of the EuroQol Group to participate in this study.
If you are interested in participating in the new UK EQ-5D-5L valuation study please download the application form here. After completion you can send the form with attachments to SteeringGroup@euroqol.org.
All applications received before the deadline will be discussed by the existing Steering Group, which will first appoint the additional two Steering Group members. The full Steering Group will then appoint the PI and the collaborating centres. Thus, applicants need to choose either to apply to be on the Steering Group or to be PI/chief investigator of a collaborating centre – they cannot apply for both.
The deadline for applications is March 4th 2020.
Steering group members will need to be available for a short telephone call between 16 and 20 March and to have time to shortlist applications between 20 March and 3 April. Further meetings will be arranged in due course.
If you have any comments or questions, or when you want to apply for a role in the study, please send an email to: SteeringGroup@euroqol.org