The CaRe Award 2018 has been awarded to Ben Wijnen for his dissertation entitled “Health Technology Assessment in Epilepsy: Moving Towards Patient-Centered, Efficient Care”. The study was subsidized by The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) and conducted at the epilepsy center Kempenhaeghe and at CAPHRI, Department of Health Services Research (HSR).
Health technology assessment (HTA) is a multidisciplinary field in which, among others, costs, (cost-)effectiveness and preferences play an important role. Given the rising health care expenditures the past decades in almost all developed countries, economic evaluations and the accompanied cost-effectiveness criterion have become an important part of healthcare policy decisions. In addition, the increased awareness of patient autonomy, growing acceptance that the trade-offs made by actual patients differ from those of clinical experts, and the changing relation between patient and clinician necessitate the need for a more patient-centered healthcare system. The dissertation reports on methodological aspects and preference-based studies in the health technology assessment of epilepsy; and on the availability and quality of economic evaluations within epilepsy. Lastly, the dissertation reports on two economic evaluations: one study evaluating the costeffectiveness of the ketogenic diet in children with intractable epilepsy, and one study evaluating the cost-effectiveness of a multi component self-management intervention for adults with epilepsy. The article about the study was one of the ‘most shared critical review articles of Epilepsia’ in 2017.
Ben Wijnen now works as a health economist at the Trimbos-institute and as a postdoc researcher at the Department of Health Services Research, Maastricht University.
Researchschool CaRe is a collaboration of four institutes: CAPHRI (Care And Public Health Research Institute) of Maastricht University, RIHS (Radboud Institute for Health Sciences) of the Radboud university medical centre, APH (Amsterdam Public Health research institute) of the VUmc, AMC, VU and UvA in Amsterdam, and NIVEL (Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research) in Utrecht. The CaRe award is awarded every year to the researcher of one of the participating institutes who wrote the best dissertation in the previous year.