Development of a decision support tool to facilitate primary care management of patients with abnormal liver function tests without clinically apparent liver disease [HTA03/38/02]

Abnormal Liver Function Investigations Evaluation (ALFIE)

Peter T Donnan, David McLernon, Douglas Steinke, Stephen Ryder, Paul Roderick, Frank M Sullivan, William Rosenberg, John F Dillon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background
Liver function tests (LFTs) are routinely performed in primary care, and are often the gateway to further invasive and/or expensive investigations. Little is known of the consequences in people with an initial abnormal liver function (ALF) test in primary care and with no obvious liver disease. Further investigations may be dangerous for the patient and expensive for Health Services.

The aims of this study are to determine the natural history of abnormalities in LFTs before overt liver disease presents in the population and identify those who require minimal further investigations with the potential for reduction in NHS costs.

Methods/Design
A population-based retrospective cohort study will follow up all those who have had an incident liver function test (LFT) in primary care to subsequent liver disease or mortality over a period of 15 years (approx. 2.3 million tests in 99,000 people). The study is set in Primary Care in the region of Tayside, Scotland (pop approx. 429,000) between 1989 and 2003. The target population consists of patients with no recorded clinical signs or symptoms of liver disease and registered with a GP. The health technologies being assessed are LFTs, viral and auto-antibody tests, ultrasound, CT, MRI and liver biopsy.

The study will utilise the Epidemiology of Liver Disease In Tayside (ELDIT) database to determine the outcomes of liver disease. These are based on hospital admission data (Scottish Morbidity Record 1), dispensed medication records, death certificates, and examination of medical records from Tayside hospitals. A sample of patients (n = 150) with recent initial ALF tests or invitation to biopsy will complete questionnaires to obtain quality of life data and anxiety measures. Cost-effectiveness and cost utility Markov model analyses will be performed from health service and patient perspectives using standard NHS costs. The findings will also be used to develop a computerised clinical decision support tool.

Discussion
The results of this study will be widely disseminated to primary care, as well as G.I. hospital specialists through publications and presentations at local and national meetings and the project website. This will facilitate optimal decision-making both for the benefit of the patient and the National Health Service.
Original languageEnglish
Article number54
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2007

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Liver Function Tests
Liver Diseases
Primary Health Care
Liver
Costs and Cost Analysis
Health Services
Clinical Decision Support Systems
Viral Antibodies
Biopsy
Biomedical Technology
Death Certificates
Health Services Needs and Demand
National Health Programs
Scotland
Natural History
Population
Signs and Symptoms
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Medical Records
Publications

Cite this

Development of a decision support tool to facilitate primary care management of patients with abnormal liver function tests without clinically apparent liver disease [HTA03/38/02] : Abnormal Liver Function Investigations Evaluation (ALFIE). / Donnan, Peter T; McLernon, David; Steinke, Douglas; Ryder, Stephen; Roderick, Paul; Sullivan, Frank M; Rosenberg, William; Dillon, John F.

In: BMC Health Services Research, Vol. 7, 54, 16.04.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Background Liver function tests (LFTs) are routinely performed in primary care, and are often the gateway to further invasive and/or expensive investigations. Little is known of the consequences in people with an initial abnormal liver function (ALF) test in primary care and with no obvious liver disease. Further investigations may be dangerous for the patient and expensive for Health Services. The aims of this study are to determine the natural history of abnormalities in LFTs before overt liver disease presents in the population and identify those who require minimal further investigations with the potential for reduction in NHS costs. Methods/Design A population-based retrospective cohort study will follow up all those who have had an incident liver function test (LFT) in primary care to subsequent liver disease or mortality over a period of 15 years (approx. 2.3 million tests in 99,000 people). The study is set in Primary Care in the region of Tayside, Scotland (pop approx. 429,000) between 1989 and 2003. The target population consists of patients with no recorded clinical signs or symptoms of liver disease and registered with a GP. The health technologies being assessed are LFTs, viral and auto-antibody tests, ultrasound, CT, MRI and liver biopsy. The study will utilise the Epidemiology of Liver Disease In Tayside (ELDIT) database to determine the outcomes of liver disease. These are based on hospital admission data (Scottish Morbidity Record 1), dispensed medication records, death certificates, and examination of medical records from Tayside hospitals. A sample of patients (n = 150) with recent initial ALF tests or invitation to biopsy will complete questionnaires to obtain quality of life data and anxiety measures. Cost-effectiveness and cost utility Markov model analyses will be performed from health service and patient perspectives using standard NHS costs. The findings will also be used to develop a computerised clinical decision support tool. Discussion The results of this study will be widely disseminated to primary care, as well as G.I. hospital specialists through publications and presentations at local and national meetings and the project website. This will facilitate optimal decision-making both for the benefit of the patient and the National Health Service.",
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AU - Donnan, Peter T

AU - McLernon, David

AU - Steinke, Douglas

AU - Ryder, Stephen

AU - Roderick, Paul

AU - Sullivan, Frank M

AU - Rosenberg, William

AU - Dillon, John F

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N2 - Background Liver function tests (LFTs) are routinely performed in primary care, and are often the gateway to further invasive and/or expensive investigations. Little is known of the consequences in people with an initial abnormal liver function (ALF) test in primary care and with no obvious liver disease. Further investigations may be dangerous for the patient and expensive for Health Services. The aims of this study are to determine the natural history of abnormalities in LFTs before overt liver disease presents in the population and identify those who require minimal further investigations with the potential for reduction in NHS costs. Methods/Design A population-based retrospective cohort study will follow up all those who have had an incident liver function test (LFT) in primary care to subsequent liver disease or mortality over a period of 15 years (approx. 2.3 million tests in 99,000 people). The study is set in Primary Care in the region of Tayside, Scotland (pop approx. 429,000) between 1989 and 2003. The target population consists of patients with no recorded clinical signs or symptoms of liver disease and registered with a GP. The health technologies being assessed are LFTs, viral and auto-antibody tests, ultrasound, CT, MRI and liver biopsy. The study will utilise the Epidemiology of Liver Disease In Tayside (ELDIT) database to determine the outcomes of liver disease. These are based on hospital admission data (Scottish Morbidity Record 1), dispensed medication records, death certificates, and examination of medical records from Tayside hospitals. A sample of patients (n = 150) with recent initial ALF tests or invitation to biopsy will complete questionnaires to obtain quality of life data and anxiety measures. Cost-effectiveness and cost utility Markov model analyses will be performed from health service and patient perspectives using standard NHS costs. The findings will also be used to develop a computerised clinical decision support tool. Discussion The results of this study will be widely disseminated to primary care, as well as G.I. hospital specialists through publications and presentations at local and national meetings and the project website. This will facilitate optimal decision-making both for the benefit of the patient and the National Health Service.

AB - Background Liver function tests (LFTs) are routinely performed in primary care, and are often the gateway to further invasive and/or expensive investigations. Little is known of the consequences in people with an initial abnormal liver function (ALF) test in primary care and with no obvious liver disease. Further investigations may be dangerous for the patient and expensive for Health Services. The aims of this study are to determine the natural history of abnormalities in LFTs before overt liver disease presents in the population and identify those who require minimal further investigations with the potential for reduction in NHS costs. Methods/Design A population-based retrospective cohort study will follow up all those who have had an incident liver function test (LFT) in primary care to subsequent liver disease or mortality over a period of 15 years (approx. 2.3 million tests in 99,000 people). The study is set in Primary Care in the region of Tayside, Scotland (pop approx. 429,000) between 1989 and 2003. The target population consists of patients with no recorded clinical signs or symptoms of liver disease and registered with a GP. The health technologies being assessed are LFTs, viral and auto-antibody tests, ultrasound, CT, MRI and liver biopsy. The study will utilise the Epidemiology of Liver Disease In Tayside (ELDIT) database to determine the outcomes of liver disease. These are based on hospital admission data (Scottish Morbidity Record 1), dispensed medication records, death certificates, and examination of medical records from Tayside hospitals. A sample of patients (n = 150) with recent initial ALF tests or invitation to biopsy will complete questionnaires to obtain quality of life data and anxiety measures. Cost-effectiveness and cost utility Markov model analyses will be performed from health service and patient perspectives using standard NHS costs. The findings will also be used to develop a computerised clinical decision support tool. Discussion The results of this study will be widely disseminated to primary care, as well as G.I. hospital specialists through publications and presentations at local and national meetings and the project website. This will facilitate optimal decision-making both for the benefit of the patient and the National Health Service.

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SN - 1472-6963

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