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An Example of the Value of Comparative Effectiveness Research

By September 4, 2009November 2nd, 2009Commentary

While comparative effectiveness research has become somewhat controversial in the current health reform discussions, often because it is mischaracterized, studies which indicate the value of this research continue to be reported.  The goal of comparative effectiveness research is to provide objective information to patients and physicians to assist in making good judgments about treatment options.  The Journal of the American Medical Association has a current article indicating the laparoscopic nerve ablation for chronic pelvic pain in women is ineffective in relieving the pain.  (JAMA Article)  This condition is somewhat widespread; the treatment has some risks, since it is invasive; and there are obviously additional costs associated with the treatment.  The results of this study, if implemented by physicians, should both reduce health costs and limit potential risks to patients.  The study is therefore a good example of the benefits of comparative effectiveness research.

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