Seminar Series: Jan Boehnke

Date: January 22
Time: 1:30 p.m. EST

"Futures of health measurement: Core outcomes, item banks, and common measures"


Jan R. Boehnke, PhD

Senior Lecturer
School of Health Sciences
University of Dundee, UK
Twitter: @jrboehnke

Research investigating the efficacy and effectiveness of treatments to inform clinical practice relies on high-quality measurement of the evaluation criteria. In the context of the global burden of disease due to long-term conditions, the subjective experience of health and the impact of such conditions on peoples' lives are of particular importance. Probably the two most prominent classes of constructs or types of measures in this space are health-related quality of life and patient reported outcomes. The methodology to develop such measures has improved considerably, including participatory approaches to consider diverse experiences and interests of stakeholders. This led to an increase in available measures and the frequent discussion of which measure or concrete operationalisation of a construct to use – and more generally: how to standardise measurement in evaluation studies. Broadly speaking, three approaches are taken to standardise or harmonise measurement in research and clinical practice: (i) "core outcome sets", i.e. agreed outcome domains that should be measured and reported, as a minimum, in all clinical trials or health care; (ii) "item banks", i.e. questions and questionnaires that have been empirically shown to support estimates of the same latent constructs; and (iii) "common measures", i.e. stakeholder-agreed operationalisations (e.g., particular questionnaires) that need to be assessed. The presentation will discuss these three types of standardisation of measurement with current examples from research on mental health and multimorbidity.

Short Bio:
Jan Boehnke is Senior Lecturer in Evaluation Design and Research Methods at the School of Health Sciences, University of Dundee (UK). His research focuses on the epidemiology of mental illness and connections between mental and physical health. His work uses modern psychometric and statistical techniques to analyse indicators of health; archival data sets describing general population distributions or service contexts; and surveys as well as (cluster-)randomised trials to evaluate the impact of interventions in naturalistic and controlled settings. Jan is head of the research group "Outcome assessment and health economics" at the Central Institute of Mental Health (Mannheim, GER), Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York (UK); and an Honorary Collaborator at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children & Families, London (UK). He is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of "Quality of Life Research".