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Summaries of Independent Scientist (K) Awards

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Wittenberg, Eve

Institution: Brandeis University
Grant Title: Evaluating Utility Measures: Biases and Alternatives
Grant Number: K02 HS14010
Duration: 5 years (2006-2011)
Total Award: $534,600

Project Description: This grant has three aims:

  1. Investigate biases in utility measurement and methods to minimize or prevent them.
  2. Investigate biases in the application of utilities in economic analysis.
  3. Develop a framework to explore and design new evaluation of methods of health, and to interpret the application of existing measures and tools.

Career Goals: Dr. Wittenburg is a Senior Scientist and Adjunct Lecturer in the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. She earned her PhD in Health Policy at Harvard University and did a post-doc in Outcomes Measurement at the Harvard School of Public Health/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The grantee's career focus is the effect of adaptation on preferences and individual's ability to forecast adaptation to illness.

Progress to Date: A manuscript on the methodology of valuing temporary health states has been published as well as an essay on the construction of preference. The grantee has submitted research proposals to multiple sources for funding to support methodological work on the measurement of expanded utility functions for families and households. Data collection is underway to collect utilities for short term, acute conditions in children with researchers at Children’s Hospital in Boston..

Future Plans: Final manuscripts resulting from the survey in Aim #1 will continue going through the publication process. A proposal for a workshop on utility elicitation and measurement issues will be submitted for presentation. Work on Aim #3 will continue.

Highlights and Specific Accomplishments:

  • Founder of Boston-wide working group on preference assessment methodology, based in the Harvard School of Public Health.

K-Generated Publications:

Wittenberg E, Joshi M, Thomas K, McCloskey K. Measuring the effect of intimate partner violence on health-related quality of life: a qualitative focus group study. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2007. 19;5:67.

Gerber, MR, Wittenberg E, Ganz ML, et al.Intimate partner violence exposure and change in women's physical symptoms over time. Journal of General Internal Medicine 2008. 23(1):64-9.

Sher D, Wittenberg E, et al. Partial breast irradiation versus whole-breast irradiation for early-state breast cancer: a decision-analysis. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, and Physics 2008. 70(2):469-76.

Gonzalez JS, Safren SA, Cagliero E, Wexler DJ, Delahanty L, Wittenberg E, et al. Depression, self-care and medication adherence in type 2 diabetes: relationships across the full range of symptom severity. Diabetes Care 2007. 30(9):2222-7.

Thomas KA, Joshi M, Wittenberg E, McCLoskey LA. Intersections of harm and health: a qualitative study of intimate partner violence in women's lives. Violence Against Women 2008. 14(11):1252-73.

Sher D, Wittenberg E, et al. Partial-breast irradiation versus whole-breast irradiation for early-stage breast cancer: a cost-effectiveness analysis. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, and Physics 2009.1;74(2):440-6.

Wright D, Wittenberg E, et al. Methods for measuring temporary health states in cost-utility analyses. PharmacoEconomics, 2009. 27(9):713-23.

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