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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 59(7); 2016 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2016;59(7):536-546.
Published online July 21, 2016.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2016.59.7.536   
Association between research topics and disease burden in health technology assessment
Hee Sun Kim, Jisu Lee, Bit Na Yoo
1National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency, Seoul, Korea. hskim7336@neca.re.kr
2School of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
The National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency (NECA), an institution for health technology assessment in Korea, has used public solicitation of research topics since its establishment in 2009. This creates a necessity for examining whether a given research topic was selected to be considered when prioritizing healthcare technology assessment and distributing healthcare resources. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the research topics suggested to NECA and the disease burden in Korea. To find the correlation between disease burden and 1,112 suggested topics and 91 performed topics that were classified by Human Research Classification System a linear auxiliary trend line and scatter plot were constructed using disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and Pearson's correlation coefficients were calculated. The results suggested that cancer was most common, followed by cardiovascular diseases, among suggested research topics and research topics performed by NECA, as well as in terms of the ratio of performed to suggested topics. The correlation between research topic and disease burden index indicated a strong correlation with DALYs and years of life lost (YLLs). However, years lived with disability and research topic had no relationship. Suggested topics showed a greater correlation with YLLs than DALYs, whereas performed topics showed a greater correlation with DALYs than YLLs, showing that despite the fact that the diseases with a high burden from morbidity were appropriately considered with respect to selecting research topics, a statistically significant difference was not found. As the first Korean study to assess the correlation between research topics and disease burden, our results will be used as base data for prioritizing the allocation of healthcare resources in the future.
Key Words: Research topic, Cost of illness, Disability-adjusted life years


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