Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD
Ellen G. Engelhardt, PhD
Deputy Editor
by Brian Zikmund-Fisher , PhD; University of Michigan

As we enter the year 2020, I’ve seen a number of allusions to the phrase “20/20” (signifying normal or clear eyesight). It’s an interesting connection: How can the year 2020 be one of clarity of vision, in our field, in our lives, and in our world?

In line with that theme, in this issue of the SMDM newsletter, Bert Chantarat reports the results of the Fall 2019 Scientific Issues in MDM Poll, which gathered preliminary data on how SMDM members think about different social constructs and use them in their work. I found it fascinating to see both the variation in what SMDM members felt were the causes of different health inequities and in the lack of consensus we appear to have about how to treat these marginalized characteristics in medical decision making research. I urge you to read his commentary and reflect on both how you think about marginalized characteristics in your own work and how our field needs to be reflective on such issues more generally.

Our Winter 2020 Scientific Issues in MDM Poll came from Deputy Editor Ellen Engelhardt and focuses on how we react when we believe that a peer has engaged in dubious scientific practices. When and how would you bring up your concerns? What inhibits discussion of such issues in our Society? Please take a few moments to fill out the poll and share your thoughts with us. Ellen will share the results in our next newsletter.

This issue of the Newsletter also provides a lot of valuable information for members, including:

  • Mary Politi notes the importance of incorporating cost discussions into health decision making and begins a discussion of what SMDM members can do.

  • President Lisa Prosser provides an overview of several special initiatives taking place this year within SMDM on patient engagement, member benefits, and meeting innovation.

  • There are links to information about the upcoming European meeting (Deadline for abstracts, short courses, and issue panels is February 4) as well as a call for symposia for the North American meeting (deadline: February 14).

  • Mark Liebow provides an update on the U.S. governmental situation, including news about the reauthorization of PCORI and the reversal of the past ban on use of cost-effectiveness analysis! Note: This is Mark’s final commentary on the U.S. political and research funding environments, and Ellen and I (and previous Newsletter editors) thank him profusely for the great value his contributions has provided the Society.
I want to also note some upcoming transitions in the Newsletter and ask that each of you consider whether you might be willing to participate or contribute.

  • First, as I prepare to step into the Editor-in-Chief role for the SMDM journals as of January 2021, I will be stepping down from my role in the Newsletter. Anyone even remotely interested in being part of the editorial team should contact the Publications Committee by emailing [email protected]. I note that it’s really not very much work (due in significant part to the excellent support provided by Trevor Scholl and Damien Salamacha at PMA), and it’s an opportunity to both connect with many people at SMDM and to help shape the discussions within the society. I’d be happy to talk with anyone considering this role.

  • Second, I would love to replace Mark Liebow’s government and funding policy updates with similar columns both about the U.S. situation and about policy support and funding in all the regions of the world that SMDM members are active in. Again, please feel free to reach out to me if you would be interested in writing such short updates, even on an intermittent basis.

Let me close with a wish for a safe, inclusive, and productive 2020 year. May it provide the vision and clarity we all seek and need in our lives. 
Lisa Prosser, PhD
Happy New Year!
by Lisa Prosser, PhD; University of Michigan

I’m excited and honored to have the privilege to serve as President of SMDM for this coming year. From my first meeting in 1998, SMDM has been a constant throughout my career as I transitioned from student to faculty to leadership roles. It also seems the right time as my son, who was 3 months old when I attended my first SMDM meeting in Boston, will be graduating from college this spring.

It’s a time of transition and new opportunity for the Society. In October, we wished the best to our longtime Executive Director, Jill Metcalf , in her retirement.  Heather Gold , Immediate Past-President, and I are co-chairing the Search Committee which is well underway. We are lucky to have representation from throughout the membership, including a few committee members who were on the search committee that hired Jill more than 10 years ago.

I’m also excited to share several new initiatives for this coming year in patient engagement, evaluation of member benefits, and meeting innovation. At the Board meeting in October, the Board approved our recommendation to create a Patient Advisory Council for SMDM. A committee, chaired by Mary Politi , will focus on defining next steps for identifying and engaging advisory council members, determining the size of the council, considering how best the council can interface with the board and the annual meeting, and developing guidelines for lay abstracts. A second special committee, the Member Engagement Survey Special Committee , will be developing and fielding a survey to understand members’ preferences for various attributes of SMDM membership, including the annual North American meeting, the European meeting, career development opportunities, short courses, job market facilitation, role of SMDM in stakeholder engagement, teaching outreach, and other member benefits.  Ellen Lipstein and Eve Wittenberg will be co-chairing this special committee on member engagement. We will also be creating a Special Committee on Meeting Innovation . The goal of this committee is to consider new approaches for the annual meeting. These could include speed abstracts, e-posters, recording or webcasting some or all parts of the meeting, workshops, competitive process for symposia, organized sessions, preferred duration of the meeting, and other options such as web-enabled virtual meetings in between the in-person annual meetings. Findings from these special committees will also provide crucial information for our planned strategic planning process in 2021.
I look forward to sharing more about these initiatives as the year moves forward. I welcome your ideas and input. If you are interested in becoming more engaged with SMDM and/or have ideas for any of the initiatives above, I look forward to hearing from you! Thank you for your participation in SMDM!
The opinions stated in the following commentaries are solely those of the authors and do not reflect the opinions of the Society for Medical Decision Making or the author's institution.
Mark Liebow,
PCORI Gets Ten More Years, Can Use CEAs
by Mark Liebow , MD, MPH; Mayo Clinic

Republicans and Democrats in Washington didn’t agree on much about the impeachment of President Trump, but late in December they came together long enough to agree on U.S. government appropriations for the rest of Fiscal Year 2020 (which ends next September 30). President Trump signed the bill a few hours before a continuing resolution that had been funding the government expired, so the government wouldn’t shut down as it had in part at the end of 2018. The budget agreement that passed last summer raised the limits for both domestic and military discretionary spending for the next two fiscal years. Congress took advantage of that.

The National Institutes of Health got a $2.6 billion increase to $41.7 billion, a 7% increase from its Fiscal Year 2019 level. The National Science Foundation got $203 million more, so its budget is $8.28 billion, a 2.5% increase. There was level funding of $338 million for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and an increase of $636 million to $7.9 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Congress also appropriated $800 million for the VA’s Medical and Prosthetic Research Program, a $21 million increase. In a bit of a surprise, there was a ten-year reauthorization of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Its authorization had expired September 30 and reauthorization was considered dicey because the original authorization was part of the Affordable Care Act. Even better, PCORI studies will be able to consider the “full range of outcomes data” to include the “potential burdens and economic impacts of the utilization of medical treatments, items, and services on different stakeholders and decision-makers respectively”. This means cost-effectiveness analyses are no longer banned. The legislation will have PCORI add intellectual and developmental disabilities and maternal mortality as research priorities.

Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. was sworn in as the 24th Commissioner of Food and Drugs on December 17 after an easy Senate confirmation. The vote to confirm was 72-18. He came from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where he was the chief medical executive. He had internal medicine and radiation oncology residencies and a medical oncology fellowship. He saw patients, did basic research, and ran clinical trials. It’s not clear what his background in drugs outside oncology is.

This is my last column for this newsletter. I retired from practice in July, but agreed to write columns through the end of the year. I hope these have been helpful in understanding a bit more about what has been happening in D.C. that affects MDMers.  

Editors' Note: The Newsletter Editors thank Mark for his many years of contributions. We would like to continue including commentaries like this one that provide updates of policy and funding environment news for the U.S. (as Mark has done) and/or for other jurisdictions of interest to the Society (e.g., EU). It doesn't take much time to write a commentary like this if you've been following the relevant news, and it provides visibility for you within SMDM. Please reach out to [email protected] if you are at all interested, and we can talk with you further.
Mary Politi, PhD
Incorporating Cost Discussion During
Health Decision Making
by Mary Politi, PhD, Washington University in St. Louis
After my father passed away from cancer in 2010, my mother received a bill for US $11,000. Insurance retroactively denied a claim for one of his last chemotherapy treatments. Prior identical treatments had been covered, and the doctors had received pre-authorization for the treatment. As my family grieved, we took turns calling the insurance company and hospital billing office, checking websites, and deciphering codes to understand and appeal the charge.

Advances in cancer treatments have improved patient outcomes, but have also  increased costs . Even when care is “covered,” patients often have  high deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and surprise bills that trickle in over time. As one participant in a  recent study  expressed, “ The billing was extremely daunting. I kept a…binder…three inches thick…tried to match things up. It was a mess .”

There is now a term to describe the burden of care costs and associated distress:  financial toxicity. Many experts suggest addressing financial toxicity when discussing health decisions and their implementation. Yet practitioners hesitate to discuss care costs . Many find these conversations uncomfortable, or view them as outside of their expertise .

What can SMDM members do? Decision aid (DA) developers should include relative costs of treatments so patients can consider cost alongside other aspects of care. One need not know patients’ exact out-of-pocket costs to understand that a new, brand-name medication costs more than a generic, or that an MRI can have high co-insurance. We recently completed a study  in which we randomized breast surgeons to use either: 1) a DA about breast cancer surgery options that included relative cost information; 2) a DA without cost information, or 3) usual care. Surgeons using a DA containing cost information, compared to surgeons in the other groups, were far more likely to discuss care costs (66.7% versus 33.3%) and initiate these discussions when they occurred (86.4% vs. 34.1% of the time). 

But including cost information in a DA is just a first step to addressing financial toxicity. In our study, cost conversations were often cursory. Few practitioners referred to social workers, financial navigators or other resources for more specific cost information. Clinicians might need guidance to create  cost-saving strategies . Referrals to trained professionals can help . Health insurance decision support can match coverage to care needs when possible.

Although extreme financial burden from treatment costs is largely a U.S. phenomenon, patients in other countries are also affected . Finding sustainable solutions to reducing financial toxicity requires a collaborative effort between practitioners, patients, policymakers, health insurance companies and healthcare institutions. SMDM members can be leaders in this space given our multidisciplinary expertise and our commitment to supporting high-quality decisions, in which cost is often a driver of choice and/or ability to implement choice. 
Tongtan (Bert) Chantarat,
Results from the Fall 2019 Scientific Issues in MDM Poll: Social Constructs and the Use of them in Your Work
by Tongtan (Bert) Chantarat, MPH, CLC; University of Minnesota

“Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.”    

The vision set forth by the RWJF requires interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers who document inequity patterns, those who theorize and examine the causes of such inequities, and those who design and implement policies/programs striving towards the elimination of health inequities. As a professional organization with memberships from around the world, SMDM can play a key role in fostering this kind of collaboration and be a champion of health equity. 

In the Fall poll, 60 SMDM members shared with us their previous or current involvement in health equity research and their thoughts on potential steps that SMDM may take to further our health equity agenda. This poll focused on three historically marginalized groups: racial/ethnic minorities, women and gender non-binary, and members of the LGB community

The majority of respondents believe that health inequities between White vs. racial/ethnic minorities mainly stem from differences in social condition (85%). By contrast, respondents indicated that they believed that health inequities (a) between individuals identified as male vs. female vs. non-binary; and (b) between individuals identified as straight vs. gay/lesbian vs. bisexual are attributable mainly to differences in social/cultural norms and values (40-54%), or social positions in the society (25-27%). 

When asking about consensus on how to treat these marginalized characteristics in medical decision making research, most respondents agree/somewhat agree that there is no such consensus in our field (73%). What is the implication of this in practice? For example, when race is included as an explanatory variable in a regression, one may choose to interpret a significant result as stemming from differences in the biological attributes/genetic markups or lived social condition between groups. This is despite the fact that in reality race is a social construct.

This lack of consensus is evidenced to a certain level in our poll. Respondents said they use these marginalized characteristics as both biological and social classifications in their own research (Figure). However, as the figure shows, the proportions differ across different identities. Given the differences in perspectives among SMDM members, it is not surprising that 69% of the respondents agreed/somewhat agreed that researchers should discuss which classification is used in their research when presenting their data. 
How do we as a field move forward with addressing inequities in health? To start, research focusing on addressing inequities in health should be more consistently highlighted at SMDM, either in the form of journal articles or meeting presentations (68%). An overwhelming portion of the respondents also agree/somewhat agree that implications on reducing inequities in health should be assessed when evaluating the impact of our research. 

What else can SMDM do to advance this effort?
18th Biennial European Conference Call for Abstracts, Short Courses and Issue Panels
Deadline: Tuesday 4 February 2020
SMDM is now accepting abstract, short course and issue panel proposals to be presented at its 18th Biennial European Conference. The deadline to submit proposals is Tuesday 4 February 2020. All submissions will be reviewed and notifications sent out in late March 2020. 

The Society for Medical Decision Making is pleased to announce its 18th Biennial SMDM European Conference will be held 14 - 16 June 2020 at the Langenbeck Virchow Haus in Berlin, Germany.

The SMDM European Conference will bring together high-quality oral and poster presentations, short courses, and issue panels from all disciplines involved in the study of decision making in health and medicine, including evidence-based medicine and public health, patient & stakeholder preferences and engagement, psychology, cognition science, shared decision making, decision modeling, outcomes research, epidemiology, health economics, health care management, policy research, health technology assessment, health informatics, health ethics and law, and others.

Conference Co-Chairs:  Beate Jahn, PhD, Silke Siebert, MD, Tobias Kurth, MD, MSc, ScD, and Uwe Siebert, MD, MPH, MSc, ScD
A block of hotel rooms has been reserved at the Mercure Berlin City and Adina Apartment Hotels. Both hotels are within walking distance of the conference venue. Hotel reservations are available through 30 April 2020.
Save the Date!
SMDM 42nd Annual Meeting:
Chicago, Illinois
October 18 - 21, 2020
Join SMDM at the 42nd Annual North American Meeting, which will be held at the Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile hotel in Chicago, Illinois. The meeting theme is Relationships in Medical Decision Making.

The Call for Symposia proposals is now open. The submission deadline is February 14, 2020, at 5 PM ET.
The Call for Abstracts and Short Courses will open in March 2020. More information and updates will be posted to the 42nd Annual Meeting homepage in the coming months.

Meeting Co-Chairs: Alan Schwartz, PhD and David Meltzer, MD, PhD
SMDM 41st Annual Meeting Recap: Portland, Oregon
Experts from a variety of fields in medical decision making gathered in Portland, Oregon from October 20 - 23, 2019 for the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM) 41st Annual North American Meeting.

527 attendees came to Portland for the four-day event, which included a plethora of short courses, symposia, and presentations on medical decision making, with a theme of  Many Views on Value .

Meeting co-chairs  Karen Eden, Dan Matlock and Carmen Lewis  provided a warm welcome to attendees on Monday morning.  Paul Slovic , Professor in Psychology at the University of Oregon and President of Decision Research, was this year’s Keynote Speaker. Dr. Slovic discussed confronting the deadly arithmetic of compassion.

Awards were presented to key leaders and mentors in the field of medical decision making:    Alan Schwartz   received the SMDM Award for Distinguished Service.  Stephen Downs  received the John M. Eisenberg Award for Practical Application of Medical Research.  Murray Krahn  received the SMDM Career Achievement Award.

The Outstanding Paper by a Young Investigator was awarded to  Hawre Jalal . 10 trainees received the Lee B. Lusted Finalists' Student Prize for outstanding presentations of research. The Lusted Student Award for Patient & Stakeholder Preferences & Engagement was renamed this year in honor of a distinguished member of the SMDM community, Anne Stiggelbout .

Past President  Heather Taffet Gold   passed the gavel to incoming President  Lisa Prosser at the SMDM Annual Business Meeting to officially start Dr. Prosser's term as President.
Ever Wonder What it Would be Like to Attend an SMDM Annual Meeting?
For a first person account, take a look at the attendees' highlights and biggest insights gathered from the Twitter hashtag #SMDM19 on Wakelet as well as video recordings from select sessions at #SMDM19. Click the button below to access the Wakelet recap and video recordings. Thank you to Social Media Chair Davene Wright and the #SMDM19 social media team for compiling the Wakelet recaps!
Best Short Course at the
2019 Annual Meeting
This year, we offered 16 short courses and had 254 registrants ranging from 10 to 26 per course at the 2019 SMDM Annual Meeting in Portland. The course that received the best rating from its attendees, as judged by the Annual Meeting and Awards Chairs, was Research Prioritisation and Study Design Using Value of Information Analysis .

This half-day, beginner level course was co-led by Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, Anna Heath, Hawre Jalal, Fernando Alarid-Escudero and Natalia Kunst. Congratulations to the faculty of this course!

We also wanted to provide an honorable mention to  Jeff Hoch , PhD, for his short course, Introduction to Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. His course has won the Best Short Course in 2016 and 2017 and received the honorable mention in 2018. This year's course once again received incredibly high ratings, making this year’s choice very difficult. Thank you Jeff, for once again leading such a great course!
2020 Call for Officer and Trustee Nominations
The Nominating Committee for the Society for Medical Decision Making is soliciting nominations for the following positions:

Vice President-Elect
Secretary-Treasurer Elect
3 Trustees (including 1 International Trustee)
The committee invites SMDM members to submit the names of members whom you believe would serve the Society well. Self-nominations are encouraged! The Nominating Committee will consider all submitted names. At least 2 nominees will be selected for each position. Upon approval of the slate by the Board of Trustees, the list of nominees will be sent to all SMDM members. Additional nominees will then be accepted by petition, as described by the Society’s regulations.
The deadline to submit Officer and Trustee Nominations is  Friday, February 21, 2020 at 5 PM ET.
2020 Nominating Committee:
Heather Taffet Gold , PhD - Chair
Uwe Siebert,  MD, MPH, MSc, ScD
Joanna Hart , MD
Jesse Jansen , PhD
Zachary Rivers , PharmD
2020 Call for Award Nominations
The Awards Committee for the Society for Medical Decision Making is soliciting nominations for the following awards:

Career Achievement Award
The Career Achievement Award recognizes a senior investigator who has made significant contributions to the field of medical decision making. The nominee need not be a member of SMDM.

SMDM Award for Distinguished Service
This award recognizes service to SMDM in terms of leadership, role in the operations of the Society, and contributions to the scientific and educational activities of the Society. The nominee must be a member of SMDM. 

John M. Eisenberg Award for Practical Application of Medical Decision Making Research
This award recognizes sustained leadership in translating medical decision making research into practice, including taking exceptional steps to communicate the principles and/or substantive findings of medical decision making research to policy makers, clinical decision makers, or the general public. The nominee need not be a member of SMDM.
Outstanding Paper by a Young Investigator
This award was conceived as a means of recognizing outstanding work by a young researcher and assisting the recipient in the tenure process. The award is for a paper published, online or in print, in the calendar year prior to the award (journal must be published in 2019 for the 2020 award). The nominee must be in the first six (6) years of full-time employment after the end of “training” however that is defined within the country and field of the nominee.

Nominations sought for naming of the Lee B. Lusted Award in Applied Health Economics Category
SMDM seeks nominations of exceptional candidates who have made contributions in the area of Applied Health Economics (AHE) to have the Lee B. Lusted Student Awards in AHE named after him/her. The honoree will have the sub-award named for him/her for five years.

Candidates for the AHE sub-award will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
  • Made a seminal contribution to the field
  • Ongoing contributions/involvement with the Society
  • Role in teaching and mentoring
The goal is for the named set of awards to reflect the diversity of our SMDM community as well as the diversity of our research as a Society. There are five categories for the Lee B. Lusted Awards: Decision Psychology and Shared Decision Making, Quantitative Methods and Theoretical Developments, Applied Health Economics, Heath Services, Outcomes, and Policy Research, and Patient and Stakeholder Preferences and Engagement.

For the period 2017-2022, the Lee B. Lusted Student Award in the Decision Psychology & Shared Decision Making (DEC) category is named in honor of   Margaret Holmes-Rovner .

For the period 2018-2023, the Lee B. Lusted Student Award in the Quantitative Methods & Theoretical Developments (QMTD) category is named in honor of  Stephen Pauker.

For the period 2019-2024, the Lee B. Lusted Student Award in the Patient & Stakeholder Preferences & Engagement (PSPE) category is named in honor of Anne Stiggelbout.    
The deadline to submit all award nominations is Friday, February 21, 2020 at 5 PM ET. Please consider nominating a colleague, mentor, or mentee for an award and/or ask your mentors or colleagues to nominate you for an award!
Elizabeth Thomas and Atoosa Craighead Complete SMDM's Core Course Curriculum in Medical Decision Making
Elizabeth Thomas, PhD
Atoosa Craighead, MD
Congratulations to  Elizabeth Thomas , PhD, and  Atoosa Craighead,  MD, for completing the Core Course Curriculum in Medical Decision Making. Elizabeth and Atoosa completed the curriculum at the 41st Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon in October 2019.

The SMDM Curriculum is an initiative of the Society with the goal of having a set of introductory level Core Courses in foundational aspects of medical decision making. This effort serves the core mission of the Society to educate its members in key content areas. Core courses are offered at SMDM meetings in North America and Europe.
Latest News From Your Fellow Members
Jag Chhatwal, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital, presented NAFLD SIMULATOR: AN INTERACTIVE, OPEN-ACCESS TOOL FOR LONG-TERM RISKS OF NAFLD [nonalcoholic fatty liver disease] AND NASH [nonalcoholic steatohepatitis] at The Liver Meetings. He and his collaborators developed an open-access, interactive tool for patients and providers to help them project the long-term adverse outcomes associated with NAFLD/NASH, the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. The abstract was selected for inclusion as one of the Best of the Liver Meeting abstracts. View the NAFLD Simulator
Mark Eckman , MD, MS, University of Cincinnati
For years, physicians have tried to prevent strokes by prescribing blood thinners to heart patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. But a recent study shows the typical patients after age 87 won’t benefit from taking warfarin, one of the best known oral anticoagulation medications for individuals with an irregular heartbeat. For patients taking apixaban, a direct oral anticoagulant, there is also little benefit after the age of 92.

The study, titled “The Net Clinical Benefit of Oral Anticoagulation among Older Adults with Atrial Fibrillation,” is available online in the American Heart Association’s scholarly journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. It uses a computerized decision analytic model first developed by Eckman known as Atrial Fibrillation Decision Support Tool (AFDST) which was used by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco; Massachusetts General Hospital and Kaiser Permanente to simulate health outcomes for 14,946 patients age 75 and older with atrial fibrillation.

“As patients age, the net clinical benefit of anticoagulation therapy compared to no treatment diminishes,” said Dr. Mark Eckman, Posey Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and senior author of the study. “This study now adds a caution, acknowledging that while under treatment is a major concern, at advanced years of age maybe we should be a little more thoughtful and careful in our treatment decisions about anticoagulation.” View the University of Cincinnati news article
Michael Stefanek, PhD recently joined the University of Mississippi's Cancer Center and Research Institute as Associate Director . Dr. Stefanek will develop and lead an interdisciplinary program in Cancer Control, Epidemiology and Disparities. Dr. Stefanek has previously served on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and has held leadership positions at the National Institutes of Health (NCI), the American Cancer Society and Indiana University. His most recent position was with Augusta University (Georgia) as Chair and Professor of the Department of Psychological Sciences. ( [email protected])
Anirban Basu , PhD, The CHOICE Institute at the UW School of Pharmacy, and Joshua Roth , PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, will lead a unique collaboration with the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the Emmes Foundation on the Sickle Cell Clinical and Economic Impact Consortium. The project aims to develop national models that will give insight into the clinical and economic benefits of cures for sickle cell disease over the lifetime of the patients. Other SMDMers involved include Beth Devine , PhD, and Scott Ramsey , MD, PhD, as co-invstigators.

Basu and colleagues published a commentary in the American Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy on the need to lay a clear path for incorporating reliable evidence on heterogeneity in value assessments to improve their applicability for healthcare decision making. ( [email protected] )
What Are You Working On?
Connect and collaborate with your fellow members on their latest projects:

Javier Mar , MD, PhD, Alto Deba Hospital; Basque Country, Spain

Integrating Real-World Data, Data Mining and Simulation Modeling for the Analysis of the Dementia-Related Behavioral and Psychological Disorders

This project tries to address the analysis of behavioral and psychological disorders (BPSD) of patients which are the main determinants of the social burden of dementia, as they are the main cause of institutionalization. But the epidemiological impact of BPSD is underestimated due to the lack of coded registry in clinical records. The computerization of the clinical record opens a way to identify both the diagnosis of dementia and the presence of BPSD. However, cases of dementia with BPSD are not registered and codified, so it does not allow knowing them. The use of antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs can be used by algorithms to identify cases with BPSD but its use is hampered by the existence of other indications and the difficulty of separating them in the elderly. Data mining and machine learning techniques could allow us to solve the problems of identification of BPSD in dementia and therefore separate the use of antipsychotic and antidepressant medication according to their relationship with dementia. But the social care information required to estimate the social burden is recorded separately from health care data. As Data Protection law prevents linking both datasets, statistical analysis is not feasible. This project is aimed to measure the prevalence and economic burden of BPSD in dementia in two phases. Phase 1, currently ongoing, Validate the use of clinical and administrative databases as a source for machine learning algorithms aimed to identify dementia-related BPSD. Phase 2: Develop simulation models of dementia-related BPSD to integrate both health care and social care data to measure the social burden of BPSD. We are open to collaborating with other groups. View a descriptive article ( [email protected] )
Here are the most recent job opportunities since our last newsletter. SMDM members can stay current on the newest opportunities in the Resources Section of SMDM Connect .
The SMDM Lifetime Contributors list acknowledges the SMDM members who have made contributions to the Annual Fund and acknowledges donations and in-kind donations, received from October 2005 - December 31, 2019. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to everyone who has supported our Society!
University of Michigan
Deputy Editor
Netherlands Cancer Institute