Development of a database of instruments for resource-use measurement: purpose, feasibility, and design

Value Health. 2012 Jul-Aug;15(5):650-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2012.03.004. Epub 2012 May 31.


Background: Health economists frequently rely on methods based on patient recall to estimate resource utilization. Access to questionnaires and diaries, however, is often limited. This study examined the feasibility of establishing an open-access Database of Instruments for Resource-Use Measurement, identified relevant fields for data extraction, and outlined its design.

Methods: An electronic survey was sent to authors of full UK economic evaluations listed in the National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database (2008-2010), authors of monographs of Health Technology Assessments (1998-2010), and subscribers to the JISCMail health economics e-mailing list. The survey included questions on piloting, validation, recall period, and data capture method. Responses were analyzed and data extracted to generate relevant fields for the database.

Results: A total of 143 responses to the survey provided data on 54 resource-use instruments for inclusion in the database. All were reliant on patient or carer recall, and a majority (47) were questionnaires. Thirty-seven were designed for self-completion by the patient, carer, or guardian, and the remainder were designed for completion by researchers or health care professionals while interviewing patients. Methods of development were diverse, particularly in areas such as the planning of resource itemization (evident in 25 instruments), piloting (25), and validation (29).

Conclusion: On the basis of the present analysis, we developed a Web-enabled Database of Instruments for Resource-Use Measurement, accessible via This database may serve as a practical resource for health economists, as well as a means to facilitate further research in the area of resource-use data collection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Health Resources / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / methods
  • United Kingdom