BARBARA ANN BUKOWSKI, The University of Texas School of Public Health


"Technology assessment is a comprehensive form of policy research that examines the short- and long-term social consequences of the application or use of technology" (US Congress 1967). This study explored a research methodology appropriate for technology assessment (TA) within the health industry. The case studied was utilization of external Small-Volume Infusion Pumps (SVIP) at a cancer treatment and research center. Primary and secondary data were collected in three project phases. In Phase I, hospital prescription records (N = 14,979) represented SVIP adoption and utilization for the years 1982-1984. The Candidate Adoption-Use (CA-U) diffusion paradigm developed for this study was germane. Compared to classic and unorthodox curves, CA-U more accurately simulated empiric experience. The hospital SVIP 1983-1984 trends denoted assurance in prescribing chemotherapy and concomitant balloon SVIP efficacy and efficiency. Abandonment of battery pumps was predicted while exponential demand for balloon SVIP was forecast for 1985-1987. In Phase II, patients using SVIP (N = 117) were prospectively surveyed from July to October 1984; the data represented a single episode of therapy. The questionnaire and indices, specifically designed to measure the impact of SVIP, evinced face validity. Compeer group data were from pre-SVIP case reviews rather than from an inpatient sample. Statistically significant results indicated that outpatients using SVIP interacted socially more than inpatients using the alternative technology. Additionally, the hospital's education program effectively taught clients to discriminate between self care and professional SVIP services. In these contexts, there was sufficient evidence that the alternative technology restricted patients activity whereas SVIP permitted patients to function more independently and in a social lifestyle, thus adding quality to life. In Phase III, diffusion forecast and patient survey findings were combined with direct observation of clinic services to profile some economic dimensions of SVIP. These three project phases provide a foundation for executing: (1) cost effectiveness analysis of external versus internal infusors, (2) institutional resource allocation, and (3) technology deployment to epidemiology-significant communities. The models and methods tested in this research of clinical technology assessment are innovative and do assess biotechnology.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

BUKOWSKI, BARBARA ANN, "TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT: SMALL-VOLUME INFUSION PUMPS" (1986). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8712600.