ACCOUNTING FOR BETWEEN-STUDY VARIATION IN INCREMENTAL NET BENEFIT IN VALUE OF INFORMATION METHODOLOGY
Article first published online: 1 SEP 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 21, Issue 10, pages 1183–1195, October 2012
How to Cite
Willan, A. R. and Eckermann, S. (2012), ACCOUNTING FOR BETWEEN-STUDY VARIATION IN INCREMENTAL NET BENEFIT IN VALUE OF INFORMATION METHODOLOGY. Health Econ., 21: 1183–1195. doi: 10.1002/hec.1781
- Issue published online: 4 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 1 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 JUN 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 6 JUN 2011
- Manuscript Received: 16 DEC 2009
- between-study variation;
- value of information;
- optimal trial design
Previous applications of value of information methods for determining optimal sample size in randomized clinical trials have assumed no between-study variation in mean incremental net benefit. By adopting a hierarchical model, we provide a solution for determining optimal sample size with this assumption relaxed. The solution is illustrated with two examples from the literature. Expected net gain increases with increasing between-study variation, reflecting the increased uncertainty in incremental net benefit and reduced extent to which data are borrowed from previous evidence. Hence, a trial can become optimal where current evidence is sufficient assuming no between-study variation. However, despite the expected net gain increasing, the optimal sample size in the illustrated examples is relatively insensitive to the amount of between-study variation. Further percentage losses in expected net gain were small even when choosing sample sizes that reflected widely different between-study variation. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.