The Public Health Interest Group is dedicated to developing and promoting appropriate HTA approaches, combining quantitative and qualitative evidence, expert knowledge, performance metrics and meaningful projections to meet the needs of decision makers and be applicable to diverse communities. Although outcomes might more often answer questions of “what works” rather than “what works best”, it is urgent to effectively explore the most adapted solutions and to monitor the impact of public health interventions in different settings or populations both at the individual and broader societal levels.
Unhealthy lifestyles are increasingly eroding human well-being, while hampering socio-economic development in many countries and threatening the sustainability of health and social care infrastructures. Public health interventions that can influence lifestyle and behavior at a population level through individual changes may reach outstanding results in the control of non-communicable diseases.
Specific methodological challenges are related to the complexity of the daily health environment, which include economic, sociocultural, organizational, ethical and legal issues, as well as personal preferences that influence behavioural risk factors such as unbalanced food patterns, physical inactivity etc.
Narrow HTA and EBM methods that have focused on clinical aspects (safety and efficacy) may be unhelpful for a range of reasons: difficulties to measure the impact (e.g. small effect magnitude, long-term horizons), irreducible areas of uncertainty, lack of standardized methodologies and lack of appropriate focus among HTA stakeholders. In addition, they might ignore important and relevant non-health outcomes or suggest—often inadvertently—there is inadequate evidence in the absence of randomized trials.
Aims & Objectives
- Raise awareness on the importance of HTA to evaluate public health and lifestyle-oriented interventions for preserving and/or ensuring sustainable healthcare and social infrastructures
- Facilitate the development and application of appropriate methodologies and HTA approaches in the public health field
- Contribute to the implementation of sustainable preventive measures that will drive positive societal change in sustainable life-style behaviors
- Enrollment of new stakeholders to strengthen intra-sectorial cooperation of major importance in the public health field
- Implementation of a survey to evaluate past and current HTA initiatives in the public health field on a global level
- Triggering innovative public-private partnerships through an outreach initiative that will engage new stakeholder parties to work together towards driving positive and sustainable societal changes in lifestyle behaviors among citizens in general and at-risk groups in particular (empowerment).
- Development of an educational tool explaining the role of nutrition as a health technology and a cost-effective driver of successful patient/citizen outcomes, policies and business
Chair: Maarten Postma (The Netherlands)
Technical Officer: Vacant
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