Medical and Economic Evaluation: A Postscript
The preceding papers and discussions offer a rich menu of principles and practice, ideals and practical possibilities, and provide a large number of illustrations of what can be — and cannot be — accomplished given available knowledge and understanding. In this final chapter we shall try to impose some order on an otherwise bewildering complexity. We have imposed the order in the following way: we have taken a set of key issues that arise from a practical point of view in conducting evaluative studies, illustrated the kinds of problem that arise with reference to the work reported and discussed in this book, and indicated how “best” to overcome the problems raised. We have put “best” in quotation marks because there is rarely an unambiguous “best” way of proceeding. In practice, ideal methods are rarely applicable. Moreover, the “best” method will depend on the objective of the work being undertaken. So “best” really means getting as close an approximation as possible to the ideal that is relevant to the purposes in hand, making allowances for the shortfall between what would be ideal and what has to be practicable in any conclusions one draws from one’s study.
KeywordsEconomic Evaluation Duodenal Ulcer Efficacy Study Ulcer Healing Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis
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