HESM Project Themes

From stakeholder consultations (including the September 2017 Planning Event and subsequent webinar, and one-on-one discussions), eight project themes emerged based on the interests, expertise and priorities of the HESM community and patient partners in British Columbia.


Theme A: Aligning Research Funding with Patient Priorities

Studies that utilize HESM methods to determine patient demand for proposed research projects, and uncertainties where further research would be of value


Theme B: Diversity and Underserved Populations

Studies exploring methods to better represent communities (e.g., Indigenous peoples) whose experiences and perspectives may not currently be captured appropriately within HESM research


Theme C: Patient and Public Values in Research

Studies exploring methods to understand what patients value, and how to capture, quantify and/or incorporate such values throughout the different phases of the research process. Theme C includes monetary and non-monetary areas of research


Theme D: Who and How? – Methods of Partner Engagement

Studies exploring which partners to engage in HESM research (e.g., patients, public), strategies to do so (e.g., deliberative engagement, 'patient researchers'), the impact of engagement on outcomes (e.g., efficiency, patient satisfaction, management of competing values among stakeholders), and the effects of engagement in specific contexts (e.g., Health Technology Assessment)


Theme E: Supply of Health Care

Studies exploring topics such as remuneration methods, incentive mechanisms, and markets for inputs (e.g., workforce, equipment, etc.)


Theme F: Medication Reimbursement

Studies exploring methods to evaluate and modify medication pricing and reimbursement policies


Theme G: Communicating Results

Studies exploring methods to communicate HESM research results in a way that corresponds to patients' values and enhances understanding and desired impact of research from the patient perspective


Theme H: Theoretical Foundations

Theme H is a cross-cutting theme that will require engaging with interdisciplinary literature and beginning a process of critical analysis and reflection. Projects within each of the themes above are likely to raise one or more theoretical questions. In requests for proposals, HESM researchers are being invited to indicate whether they intend to address corresponding theoretical questions alongside their applied research


Three research projects, based on feedback and subsequent consultation, will be moving forward over the next couple of months. Please note that these are just the first projects that are moving to being supported through the HESM Methods Cluster; there will be opportunities for new areas of methodological research in due course (depending upon resources).

The three projects are described below (names, listed in alphabetical order, indicate those individuals who have already indicated a willingness to lead, co-lead or collaborate on the project).


1. Using Health Economic Methods to Design Clinical Studies [Theme A] (Mark Harrison, Tracey-Lee Laba): This project will use discrete choice experiments to help design clinical studies to be more patient-oriented. It will use the results to help designers of clinical studies understand which outcome(s) matter most to patients, and the value patients place on the intervention.


2. Outcomes Measurement for Cost-Effectiveness Research with Indigenous Peoples, Communities and Organizations [Theme B] (Craig Mitton, Stuart Peacock, Vancouver Native Health Society): Using qualitative methods, this project will determine health/wellbeing outcomes of importance for the community of individuals that is served by programs run by the Vancouver Native Health Society. A complementary component of the project comprises a ‘Planning Meeting’ to examine HESM-related, patient-oriented priorities for Indigenous health research.


3. Value-Based Decisions in Health Economics and Simulation Modelling Studies [Theme H] (Stephanie Harvard, Diego Silva, Greg Werker): This project will explore the concept of 'value-based decisions' in HESM studies, working to identify points throughout the research process where choices are often not informed by scientific facts and principles alone. Through key informant interviews with researchers and focus groups with patients, the project will aim to better understand value-based decisions in HESM studies and develop strategies to support researchers and patients when making research decisions together.

4. Examining the Utility of Educational Videos for Increasing Patient Knowledge and Motivation to Participate in Health Economics Research [Theme G] (multiple Methods Cluster leads, including Drs. Bansback and Whitehurst): This project will explore the effectiveness of communication methods (e.g., whiteboard animation videos, interactive websites, and documentaries) in informing and engaging patients and the public with key topics in health economics and simulation modelling.


 Comments and questions are welcome. Please contact Alison Hoens, Methods Clusters Knowledge Translation Specialist.

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