Winnette R, Zárate V, Machnicki G, DeMuro-Mercon C, Gawlicki M, Gnanasakthy A. Patient-reported outcomes in Latin America: implementation in research and role in emerging HTA systems. Value in Health Regional Issues. 2015 Dec;8:49-55. doi: 10.1016/j.vhri.2015.03.008

BACKGROUND: Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are increasingly used to demonstrate the value of interventions and support health technology assessment (HTA).

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this work was to analyze trends regarding PROs in Latin America (LatAm), highlight challenges in the application of PROs in this region, and suggest solutions.

METHODS: A team of researchers with expertise in PROs conducted a non-systematic PubMed literature research pertaining to the use of PROs in LatAm. The experts also drew on their experience working with PROs to assess the application of PROs in LatAm.

RESULTS: The literature search yielded more than 4000 publications, with an increasing publication rate in recent years. PROs are being used in LatAm in various study types: instrument validation, phase III international clinical trials, health service research. A large Inter-American Development Bank study demonstrates the growing importance of PROs in the region. The growth in local value sets for the EuroQol five-dimensional questionnaire in LatAm reflects the regional emergence of HTA systems. Operational challenges relate to ensuring the use of good-quality questionnaires that, at a minimum, have undergone appropriate cultural adaptation and ideally have established psychometric properties.

CONCLUSIONS: PROs are increasingly important in LatAm. Future efforts should aim to strengthen the operational and research infrastructure around PROs in the region. Innovation should be encouraged, including studying alternative methods of eliciting health utilities for economic evaluation. A wider scope round PRO uses for decision making by HTA bodies is an international trend with potential positive prospects in LatAm.

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