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Zhang W.,Center for Health Evaluation and Outcome science | Anis A.H.,Center for Health Evaluation and Outcome science | Anis A.H.,University of British Columbia
Clinical Rheumatology | Year: 2011

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) not only causes significant morbidity, but also leads to substantial losses in terms of productivity that have a negative impact on the individual and the society. In countries, such as Canada, the US, and the UK, it is known that the costs to the economy in terms of sick leave and work-related disability run into billions of dollars. However, putting an accurate figure on these losses is not entirely straightforward. Most health-related studies use the "human capital" approach, which treats human beings as assets. A figure for lost productivity is calculated by multiplying hours lost by the hourly wage rate. It is a method that is not without its critics because of its emphasis on earning power, which discriminates against non-earners. Another method is the "friction- cost" approach, whereby absenteeism is only recorded if the missed work requires extra hours undertaken, either by the employee himself, or by the others. A third method is the "willingness-to-pay" approach which values life according to an individual's preference to avoid illness with an imputed monetary valuation on the various health outcomes being considered. A number of studies have shown that biologic RA treatments provide productivity benefits in terms of maintaining employment, as well as reducing absenteeism and presenteeism. Going forward, an approach recently adopted by the present authors with encouraging preliminary results, the Valuation of Lost Productivity, takes into account a wide range of factors to provide a measure of productivity that is as accurate as possible. © 2011 Clinical Rheumatology.

Dragojlovic N.,University of British Columbia | Lynd L.D.,University of British Columbia | Lynd L.D.,Center for Health Evaluation and Outcome science
Drug Discovery Today | Year: 2014

In this article, we present descriptive data on 125 crowdfunding campaigns aimed at financing research in oncology (including basic research, drug discovery, and clinical trials). We also describe five campaigns that have succeeded in raising substantial funds to support the development of treatments for ultrarare diseases. The data suggest that crowdfunding is a viable approach to supporting early proof-of-concept research that could allow researchers in oncology and rare diseases to succeed in traditional grant competitions or to attract private investment. The data also suggest that such an approach could become a valuable additional source of funding for early-stage innovators in the drug development arena. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Kuyper L.M.,University of British Columbia | Khan N.A.,University of British Columbia | Khan N.A.,Center for Health Evaluation and Outcome science
Canadian Journal of Cardiology | Year: 2014

Background: Previous reviews have shown that β-blocker use for the treatment of hypertension without compelling indications was associated with increased risk of stroke in the elderly. It remains unclear whether this increased risk was driven by the type of β-blocker. We sought to compare the efficacy of atenolol vs nonatenolol β-blockers in clinical trials enrolling young (< 60 years) and older patients with hypertension. Methods: The Cochrane and MEDLINE databases were searched (January 2006-May 2013) for randomized trials evaluating stroke, myocardial infarction, death, or composite cardiovascular end points. Twenty-one hypertension trials with data on 145,811 participants were identified: 15 used atenolol, 7 were placebo-controlled trials, and 14 were active comparator trials. There were no trials of newer generation β-blockers identified. Results: Among the elderly, atenolol was associated with an increased risk of stroke (relative risk [RR], 1.17; 95% confidence interval [CI],1.05-1.30) compared with other antihypertensive agents. The risk of stroke for nonatenolol β-blockers compared with other agents (RR,1.22; 95% CI, 0.99-1.50) did not reach statistical significance in the elderly. In the young, atenolol was associated with reduced risk of stroke compared with other agents (RR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.64-0.95), whereas nonatenolol β-blockers were associated with a lower risk of composite cardiac events (RR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.75-0.996) compared with placebo, with no significant difference in events compared with active controls. Conclusions: In the young, both atenolol and nonatenolol β-blockers are effective in reducing cardiovascular end points for hypertension without compelling indications. Atenolol is associated with increased stroke in the elderly but whether this extends to nonatenolol β-blockers remains uncertain. © 2014 Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

Palepu A.,Center for Health Evaluation and Outcome science | Patterson M.L.,Simon Fraser University | Moniruzzaman A.,Simon Fraser University | Frankish C.J.,University of British Columbia | Somers J.,Simon Fraser University
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2013

Objectives. We examined the relationship between substance dependence and residential stability in homeless adults with current mental disorders 12 months after randomization to Housing First programs or treatment as usual (no housing or support through the study). Methods. The Vancouver At Home study in Canada included 2 randomized controlled trials of Housing First interventions. Eligible participants met the criteria for homelessness or precarious housing, as well as a current mental disorder. Residential stability was defined as the number of days in stable residences 12 months after randomization. We used negative binomial regression modeling to examine the independent association between residential stability and substance dependence. Results. We recruited 497 participants, and 58% (n = 288) met the criteria for substance dependence. We found no significant association between substance dependence and residential stability (adjusted incidence rate ratio = 0.97; 95% confidence interval = 0.69, 1.35) after adjusting for housing intervention, employment, sociodemographics, chronic health conditions, mental disorder severity, psychiatric symptoms, and lifetime duration of homelessness. Conclusions. People with mental disorders might achieve similar levels of housing stability from Housing First regardless of whether they experience concurrent substance dependence.

Henrich N.,Center for Health Evaluation and Outcome science | Henrich N.,University of British Columbia | Holmes B.,University of British Columbia | Holmes B.,Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, a vaccine was made available to all Canadians. Despite efforts to promote vaccination, the public's intent to vaccinate remained low. In order to better understand the public's resistance to getting vaccinated, this study addressed factors that influenced the public's decision making about uptake. To do this, we used a relatively novel source of qualitative data - comments posted on-line in response to news articles on a particular topic. This study analysed 1,796 comments posted in response to 12 articles dealing with H1N1 vaccine on websites of three major Canadian news sources. Articles were selected based on topic and number of comments. A second objective was to assess the extent to which on-line comments can be used as a reliable data source to capture public attitudes during a health crisis. The following seven themes were mentioned in at least 5% of the comments (% indicates the percentage of comments that included the theme): fear of H1N1 (18.8%); responsibility of media (17.8%); government competency (17.7%); government trustworthiness (10.7%); fear of H1N1 vaccine (8.1%); pharmaceutical companies (7.6%); and personal protective measures (5.8%). It is assumed that the more frequently a theme was mentioned, the more that theme influenced decision making about vaccination. These key themes for the public were often not aligned with the issues and information officials perceived, and conveyed, as relevant in the decision making process. The main themes from the comments were consistent with results from surveys and focus groups addressing similar issues, which suggest that on-line comments do provide a reliable source of qualitative data on attitudes and perceptions of issues that emerge in a health crisis. The insights derived from the comments can contribute to improved communication and policy decisions about vaccination in health crises that incorporate the public's views. © 2011 Henrich, Holmes.

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