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Meeting round-up: EuroQol Plenary Meeting 2016

The 33rd Plenary Meeting of the EuroQol Group took place in Berlin on 15th and 16th September 2016. The meeting was hosted by Wolfgang Greiner of the University of Bielefeld. I chaired the Scientific Programme together with my co-chair Anna Lugnér.

Inspired by the HESG meeting, the EuroQol Plenary Meeting largely followed a discussant format whereby papers were pre-circulated to participants and presented by discussants rather than by authors. The parallel poster sessions also followed a discussant format, with approximately 10 minutes dedicated to the discussion of each poster. In total, 20 papers and 22 posters were presented at the Plenary Meeting, about half of which were lead-authored by non-EuroQol members.

As with previous Plenary Meetings, there was a strong focus on health state valuation issues. Three papers examined the extent to which the results of discrete choice experiments are influenced by the visual presentation of the choice tasks. Two other papers explored innovative methods – namely, ‘personal utility functions’ and ‘non-iterative time trade-off’ – that have been developed to overcome some of the biases and limitations of traditional stated preference techniques. Other papers of interest included a study by Nils Gutacker and colleagues in which a web tool was developed to present EQ-5D data to patients and GPs in order to facilitate shared decision making, and a comparison of seven new EQ-5D-5L value sets by Jan Abel Olsen and colleagues. One of the highlights of the poster sessions was Katherine Rogers et al.’s report of the translation, validation and reliability of the EQ-5D-5L in British Sign Language.

An exception to the usual discussant format was a debate about the use of public, patient and experienced-based values. Matthijs Versteegh, whose paper featured in a recent blog post, set out arguments in favour of using patient values in addition to general public values, and presenting two different ICERs to decision makers. In response, John Brazier pointed out some of the potential problems with Matthijs’s proposals. John argued instead for using ‘informed’ general public values or for amending the EQ-5D descriptive system to reflect more fully the experience of patients.

The Plenary Meeting concluded with a reception and dinner at a restaurant on top of the magnificent Reichstag (German Federal Parliament) building. Look out for the call for abstracts for next year’s Plenary Meeting, which will be posted on the EuroQol website in Spring 2017.

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