Estimating unknown parameters in haemophilia using expert judgement elicitation

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The increasing attention to healthcare costs and treatment efficiency has led to an increasing demand for quantitative data concerning patient and treatment characteristics in haemophilia. However, most of these data are difficult to obtain. The aim of this study was to use expert judgement elicitation (EJE) to estimate currently unavailable key parameters for treatment models in severe haemophilia A. Using a formal expert elicitation procedure, 19 international experts provided information on (i) natural bleeding frequency according to age and onset of bleeding, (ii) treatment of bleeds, (iii) time needed to control bleeding after starting secondary prophylaxis, (iv) dose requirements for secondary prophylaxis according to onset of bleeding, and (v) life-expectancy. For each parameter experts provided their quantitative estimates (median, P10, P90), which were combined using a graphical method. In addition, information was obtained concerning key decision parameters of haemophilia treatment. There was most agreement between experts regarding bleeding frequencies for patients treated on demand with an average onset of joint bleeding (1.7 years): median 12 joint bleeds per year (95% confidence interval 0.9–36) for patients ≤18, and 11 (0.8–61) for adult patients. Less agreement was observed concerning estimated effective dose for secondary prophylaxis in adults: median 2000 IU every other day The majority (63%) of experts expected that a single minor joint bleed could cause irreversible damage, and would accept up to three minor joint bleeds or one trauma related joint bleed annually on prophylaxis. Expert judgement elicitation allowed structured capturing of quantitative expert estimates. It generated novel data to be used in computer modelling, clinical care, and trial design.

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