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Toward a Strategy to Involve Patients in Health Technology Assessment in Spain

Ana Toledo-Chávarri, Yolanda Alvarez-Perez, Yolanda Triñanes, Lilisbeth Perestelo-Pérez, Mireia Espallargues, Matilde Palma, Pedro Serrano-Aguilar
International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care 2019 March 14, : 1-7

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to develop a feasible and effective strategy to involve patients in the Spanish Network of Agencies of Health Technology Assessment (RedETS).

METHODS: The framework for patient involvement (PI) in the assessment activities and processes of RedETS were developed through a research project that included: (i) a systematic search of the international literature describing a strategy and/or a methodology linking health technology assessment (HTA) and PI; (ii) a qualitative study through interviews with RedETS members to analyze the perceptions of PI among HTA managers in the Spanish context; (iii) a Delphi consultation with three large platforms of patients, carers and consumer organizations in Spain about their perspectives of PI; (iv) a consensus process with the members of the RedETS Governing Council to define the final strategy.

RESULTS: Three main themes were identified in the literature and Web site review: (i) PI methods for the different HTA phases; (ii) Participant definition and selection; (iii) Resources needed. A three-step implementation strategy was proposed: (i) short-term actions: piloting and testing patient participation in HTA and building patients' capacity; (ii) medium-term actions: broadening the participation of patients, and building internal capacity; (iii) long-term actions: consolidating and mainstreaming patient involvement CONCLUSIONS: Patient participation can be incorporated into almost all the HTA phases and products with greater or lesser degrees of difficulty. However, a progressive implementation strategy is suggested for a feasible PI process.


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