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What are the Relevant Outcomes of the Periodic Health Examination? A Comparison of Citizens’ and Experts’ Ratings

Authors Sommer I, Titscher V, Szelag M, Gartlehner G

Received 11 September 2020

Accepted for publication 4 January 2021

Published 18 January 2021 Volume 2021:15 Pages 57—68


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Isolde Sommer,1 Viktoria Titscher,1 Monika Szelag,1 Gerald Gartlehner1,2

1Department for Evidence-Based Medicine and Evaluation, Danube University Krems, Krems, Austria; 2RTI International, Research Triangle Park, Raleigh, NC, USA

Correspondence: Isolde Sommer
Department for Evidence-Based Medicine and Evaluation, Danube University Krems, Dr.-Karl-Dorrek-Straße 30, Krems 3500, Austria
Tel +43 (0)2732 893-2927
Fax +43 (0)2732 893-4910

Purpose: Despite evidence from clinical guideline development that physicians and patients show discordance in what they consider important in outcome selection and prioritization, it is unclear to what extent outcome preferences are concordant between experts and citizens when it comes to the context of primary prevention. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess whether expert judgments about the importance of beneficial and harmful outcomes differ from citizen preferences when considering intervention options for a periodic health examination (PHE) program.
Participants and Methods: We conducted an online survey using a modified Delphi approach. The target population for the survey consisted of citizens who had attended the PHE (n=18) and experts who made evidence-based recommendations (n=11). Citizens and experts assigned a score on a 9-point Likert scale for each outcome of 14 interventions. We analyzed the intragroup agreement based on Krippendorff’s alpha and the intergroup agreement using the cube root product measure (CRPm). We further tested for significant differences between the groups using the Mann U-test.
Results: Agreements within the groups of citizens and experts varied across the interventions and tended to be poor (α ≤ 0 to 0.20) or fair (α = 0.21 to 0.40), with three exceptions showing moderate agreement (α = 0.44 to 0.55). The agreements between the citizens and experts across the interventions was fair (CRPm = 0.28) during the first Delphi rating round. The mean differences between the citizens and experts on the Likert scale ranged from 0.0 to 3.8 during the first rating round and from 0.0 to 3.3 during the second. Across interventions, the citizens rated the outcomes as more important than the experts did (p< 0.01). Individual participants’ ratings varied substantially.
Conclusion: Because experts generally underestimated the outcomes’ importance to citizens, the involvement of citizens in guideline panels for preventive services is important.

Keywords: outcome ratings, guideline methodology, patient involvement, GRADE, health examination

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