Jul 11th 2016

Measuring and Valuing Health (FutureLearn)

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Learn how Patient Reported Outcome Measures and Quality Adjusted Life Years can compare treatments and inform healthcare spending. Healthcare systems around the world are increasingly under pressure to fund drugs, treatments and other healthcare interventions. No-one has the money or resources to provide them all, so how do we decide which ones to fund?

One factor which can help inform these decisions is to compare the costs and benefits of treatments. Costs are fairly straightforward to calculate, but what about benefits? How do we know which treatments help patients most? And how do we measure and value these benefits?

Understand Patient Reported Outcome Measures and Quality Adjusted Life Years

This free online course will introduce you to health outcomes and explain how they can be measured and valued, to make more informed decisions about where to spend our limited healthcare budgets.

We’ll look at two different types of measures, asking how they’re developed and calculated, and how they’re used by decision makers in practice:

- Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs): which are measures completed by the patients themselves, about their health, symptoms, functioning, well-being or satisfaction with treatment.

- Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs): which compare the benefits of different treatment options, based on the quality and quantity of life they yield.

Over 3 weeks, you’ll learn with Dr Katherine Stevens and other specialists in health economics and decision science at the University of Sheffield.

You’ll also get to share your experiences and debate the key issues with other learners. Should it be patients or the general population who value our health? Or someone else? And should we value children’s health differently?

This course will help you understand how and why choices about drugs and treatments have been made. It may inspire you to think about a career in healthcare, local decision making or academia.

You may even wish to take your learning further, with the University of Sheffield’s Masters degrees and short courses in areas such as health economics, public health and international healthcare technology assessment.