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Have population-wide death rates and disability levels attributable to disease X declined over the past decade? In a randomized clinical trial comparing drug Y with standard therapy, is there a clinically important difference in patient survival or in patient-reported outcomes (PRO) such as symptom bother? In an economic evaluation of screening for disease Z annually rather than semi-annually, what are the estimated differences in quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) per dollar spent? If a patient, working closely with her physician, is considering two therapies with similar projected survival benefits, how might she determine which provides the better health-related quality of life (HRQOL)? These quite diverse queries share a central common feature: They involve health outcomes assessment.

Health outcomes assessment (HOA) is a systematic and frequently multistep analytical ...

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