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Senior Health Economist Oliver Rivero-Arias with the VALENTIA team proposes a framework to improve the development of health economic assessments to evaluate antenatal and newborn screening programmes

Published on Tuesday, 15 November 2022 Tweet

VALENTIA (Valuing the Benefits and Harms of Antenatal and Newborn Screening Programmes in Health Economic Assessments) investigated approaches to the measurement and valuation of 'benefits' and 'harms' of screening programmes for antenatal and newborn conditions. These assessments inform the decisions made by national screening bodies when recommending the introduction (or not) of an antenatal or newborn national screening programme (e.g. the 12-week scan, or the newborn 'heel prick' blood tests).

The team conducted a systematic review of health economic assessments across the published and grey literature in OECD countries. The systematic review found that many of the studies did not adhere to the most recent guidance on the conduct of economic evaluations and that many benefits and harms considered important by screening agencies, such as overdiagnosis, and 'spillover effects', are often overlooked. The team proposed the need for guidance and created a framework of benefits and harms that can be used as a starting point to guide the development of health economic assessments in this area in future research.

Read the paper here!

May Ee Png, Miaoqing Yang, Sian Taylor-Phillips, Svetlana Ratushnyak, Nia Roberts, Ashley White, Lisa Hinton, Felicity Boardman, Abigail McNiven, Jane Fisher, Baskaran Thilaganathan, Sam Oddie, Anne-Marie Slowther, Jenny Shilton Osborne, Stavros Petrou, Oliver Rivero-Arias (2022). Benefits and harms adopted by health economic assessments evaluating antenatal and newborn screening programmes in OECD countries: A systematic review of 336 articles and reports. Social Science & Medicine, 314,

There is a further publication due in summer 2023 which will present the overall project report for the NIHR.

Updated: Tuesday, 17 January 2023 12:04 (v8)