How can decision modelling help us to evaluate the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of diagnostic strategies in primary care?

Talk Code: 
Sam Merriel et al
Sam Merriel, Brian Nicholson, Beth Shinkins, Sarah Price, Marije van Melle, Jan Verbakel, Monica Koo, Anne Spencer
Author institutions: 
Sam Merriel, University of Exeter Brian Nicholson, University of Oxford Beth Shinkins, University of Leeds Sarah Price, University of Exeter Marije van Melle, University of Cambridge Jan Verbakel, University of Oxford Monica Koo, University College London Anne Spencer, University of Exeter

Aim and intended outcome/educational objectives

This workshop aims to raise awareness among clinicians and primary care researchers of the potential application of decision modelling to improving diagnosis in primary care, using cancer as a disease model.    

After attending this workshop, delegates will: 

1.            Understand how decision modelling can be used to evaluated both clinical- and cost-effectiveness of novel diagnostic strategies for cancer in primary care 

2.            Reflect on how we can better capture and understand the management of a patient who is not referred to secondary care based on a negative test result 

3.            Understand the important role of clinicians and patients in the development of decision models to ensure they reflect ‘real-world’ clinical practice   


This interactive workshop will begin with a brief introduction of the new SAPC Cancer SIG. A short presentation will be followed by facilitated small group discussions. A wider group discussion with brief presentations from the small groups, and summarising from the organisers will conclude the session. The outline programme is as follows:   

  • Welcome and SAPC Cancer SIG Introduction       
  • Principles of decision modelling                                 
  • Small group case discussions                                       
  • Whole group discussion                                                                
  • Questions and wrap up                                                 


The workshop will commence with an introduction of the new SAPC Cancer SIG, its aims, and avenues for membership.  A brief presentation from the workshop organisers will outline decision modelling principles and their relevance to evaluating primary care diagnostic strategies. Cancer will be used as an exemplar, making use of the SIG committee’s expertise. Participants will then be divided into smaller groups to review different aspects of the cancer diagnostic pathway as they relate to primary care, using case studies. Facilitated by the workshop organisers, the small groups will consider how decision modelling could help to quantify both the short- and long-term harms and benefits of novel diagnostic strategies.  The small groups will be asked to nominate a speaker to briefly report back on their case study and a summary of their discussions to the wider group. This discussion will be led by the workshop organisers to reinforce the key learning points.    

Intended audience 

Clinicians and primary care researchers with an interest in methods for evaluating diagnostic strategies in primary care. Those interested in diagnostic pathways of cancer in primary care will also gain an understanding of decision modelling.