Welcome to the EuroFIT team, Dr Aureliano Finch

“I am a postdoctoral researcher within the Faculty of Science, Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment at Vrije Universitat in Amsterdam. Prior to moving to Amsterdam, I graduated from the London School of Economics/London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine joint MSc programme “Health Policy, Planning and Financing”. I worked for one year as a White Helmet for the Caritas Brasileira Regional do Piaui in Brazil, and for two years as a research fellow at Bocconi University in Milan.

As you can see, I love travelling, meeting new people and discovering new cultures. I also love my postdoc research, of which EuroFIT is a part!

I am originally from Rome. My undergraduate degree was in International Relations and Diplomatic Affairs, from the University of Bologna. The third year I passed in Lisbon, thanks to the Erasmus Exchange program. After obtaining my BSc I went to work for the Italian Chamber of Ministries in Piaui, Brazil. Working in Brazil influenced my interests profoundly, leading me to develop a marked orientation towards health-care issues. This is why I decided to pursue the MSc joint programme in Health Policy, Planning and Financing (Health Economics) at The London School of Economics and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

I did my PhD under the supervision of John Brazier at the University of Sheffield. This was a quantitative investigation of methods to identify bolt-on dimensions for generic preference-based measures. I decided to do my PhD with John Brazier because while conducting research for my MSc dissertation on quality of life measures I repeatedly came across John’s publications, and I really enjoyed learning from his book. I found the area of measuring and valuing health and wellbeing extremely interesting to me, as it involved multidisciplinary research. Psychometric assessment draws upon psychology to estimate the appropriateness of questionnaires, scales and instruments. This involves considering variables such as attitudes, personality traits and educational levels. At the same time, investigating quality of life and wellbeing measures requires a sound knowledge of the underlying bias of these instruments that derive utilities through direct-elicitation instruments based on the expected utility theory. Last but not least, the output of multi-attribute psychometric assessment has a practical application in managerial sciences, informing health care providers of the preferred instruments to use in different decision-making contexts. This is why, when it came to choosing a PhD, I had no doubts I wanted to work in this area, and that John was the perfect supervisor.

During the first year of the PhD, while conducting a literature review I noticed that all bolt-on studies published to date claimed the relevance of a bolt-on dimension based on experts’ opinion or qualitative methods. Moreover, I noticed differences in the steps undertaken between these studies, which highlighted a lack of methodological guidance. This is why I proposed to compare different quantitative methods in order to inform the identification and selection of bolt-ons. The PhD resulted in 4 papers: An overview of systematic reviews on the validity and responsiveness of 5 generic preference-based measures which has been published in the European Journal of Health Economics; An exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis for identifying bolt-ons, and a regression study on selecting bolt-ons using their ability to predict differences in HRQoL which are published in RnR in Value in Health; and a study on using preferences from discrete choice experiments for selecting bolt-ons. Aspects of the PhD have been presented in numerous international conferences, such as ISPOR, Health Economics Study Group and Advances in Patient-reported outcomes.

My PhD relates to economic evaluations as it provides methods for improving the consistency of decision and the cross-program comparability of health technology assessments. I am thrilled to work on the EuroFIT project, as it will allow me using other quantitative methods for informing decision making in the healthcare sector.”

LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aureliano-finch-33646942/

 

Welcome Inger!

In order to welcome Inger Abma based at the Radboud University Medical Center to the EuroFIT project, I asked her a few questions about her background, research interests and PhD. Here is what she reports:

I’m originally from Nijmegen, NL, studied biomedical sciences with a focus on Health Technology Assessment and a consultancy profile. I did my master’s internship at Imperial College London and ended up working and living there for 2.5 years. I worked on a qualitative research project about organizational and financial barriers and facilitators of the implementation of home haemodialysis in kidney care in the UK. Then I came back to The Netherlands to do a PhD and coincidentally ended up back in Nijmegen.

My PhD is about patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs – are questionnaires about a patient’s health status, completed by the patient) and how they can be used to improve healthcare. I developed and validated a PROM for patients with obstructive sleep apnea, and implemented it in the daily clinical practice of three sleep centres for my study. After a patient has completed the PROM, an overview with smileys becomes available for patients and healthcare professionals, showing how well the patient is doing with regard to the different aspects of apnea-related quality of life. The goal is to make patients better aware of which of their health complaints may be related to apnea, to increase the attention to quality of life during consultations, and to monitor a patient’s symptoms and problems. In the last study of my PhD, I interviewed patients and healthcare professionals about their experiences with and opinions of the PROM, and how implementation could be improved. I am currently writing up the last results of this study – and of course, I am now working on EuroFIT.

How does my PhD fit with EuroFIT: I am interested in the barriers and facilitators of the implementation of innovations.

LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/inger-abma-83351540/

ResearchGate profile:  https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Inger_Abma?ev=hdr_xprf

As reported by Danielle Nicholson, Pintail Limited.