BiblioPRO: A resource for measuring health outcomes reported by patients

28 May

JORDI ALONSO PHOTO DEFJordi Alonso is the director of Epidemiology and Public Health, IMIM-Hospital del Mar Institut d’Investigacions Mèdiques of Barcelona. He was the president of AQuAS’ Scientific Committee (2006-2012)


The PRO-Patient Reported Outcomes allow us to actively incorporate the patient perspective in clinical decision making. PRO are measurements of health as perceived by patients and the population, including (not exclusively) symptoms, functions, the perception of health, the quality of life when related to the health services and the satisfaction with the treatments. Its incorporation into clinical and epidemiological research is consolidated. However, despite the evidence of potential benefits [Valderas JM, Alonso J & Guyatt GH, 2008], PRO is very little used in clinical practice. Real time measurements of patients’ welfare, functionality and preferences have a very significant potential to inform health care system and contribute to effective benchmarking. Since about five years ago, the National Health Service in England has promoted the routine use of PROs in certain pathologies with an additional purpose: to allow comparisons between healthcare providers, with the hope that the information provided would increase both productivity by avoiding unnecessary treatments, as well as quality, through the redesign of services or patient choice [Black N, 2013]. Continue reading

Catalonia shows its potential teamwork with the REVASCAT clinical trial in mechanical thrombectomy in grave ischemic stroke

21 May

Sònia AbilleiraSònia Abilleira Castells, neurologist. Plan for Cerebral Vascular Disease

A clinical trial conducted entirely in Catalonia with the participation of four tertiary stroke hospitals and the support of the master plan for cerebral vascular disease, showed that treatment with catheters in the acute phases of severe ischemic stroke is crucial for good clinical outcomes.

Ischemic stroke causes around 8,500 annual hospitalizations in Catalonia. An estimated 70% of patients are either dead or are in a situation of dependency within 5-years of the stroke. Until now, the only treatment available to us was a drug administered intravenously in the first 4.5 hours of the stroke achieving lysis or a rupture of the thrombus which for a percentage of the patients increased the likelihood of survival without significant neurological sequels. This treatment, known as intravenous thrombolysis has a very low efficiency when the thrombus is located on a main artery of the brain which happens in 25% of cases, translating clinically into more severe strokes. Continue reading

Research and health policy: “to blog or not to blog”

7 May

Tino MartíTino Martí, Health economist

That is the question. The strength of the link between research and health policy looks different depending on the perspective. Health service researchers expect that their work has more impact in politicians’ decisions while the politicians expect to be informed about the most effective way to ease the configuration of health policies based on scientific evidence. This is a difficult transition bridge whose surface is eminently communicative.

The “Web first” section of the influential Health Affairs, this month features a paper on the use of social media and the researchers’ perceptions and it’s worth reviewing (Grande D et al, 2014). During the Academy Health Annual Research Meeting, 215 researchers were interviewed using a mix of techniques (cases, assessment of broadcasting’ effectiveness and open qualitative questions). In the cases’ section, three ways of communicating research results to policy makers were presented: traditional media, social media and direct contact with decision makers: The social media includes the blogosphere and different social networks, particularly Twitter. Continue reading