Outcomes of Care: The Use of Conceptual Models to "See the Forest and the Trees" in Planning Outcomes Studies
Outcomes research provides many opportunities to explore how care activities, care processes, and care systems impact on individuals and health care resources. This article discusses clinical outcomes research and its connection to real-life situations. A model-building approach is presented to clarify the process of outcomes research by acknowledging multiple variables and how they interact. The process is illustrated through a hypothetical model addressing coronary artery disease. The usefulness of using conceptual modeling tying related variables together while creating a framework for increased understanding of key variables and their interaction is discussed.
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