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Group Group 6

Group 6



Nodo: Cataluña


IMIM-Hospital del Mar


María Sala Serra




Catalan Node: Hospital del Mar - Epidemiology and Evaluation Department

This group, leaded by Maria Sala (MD, PhD) and formed by 7 researchers, is a  multidisciplinary team with epidemiology, health economy, statistics and nursing especialists which has carried out research activity in the field of health services research (HSR).
The group research has been developed in the specific areas of evaluation of the effectiveness and costs of health services and interventions; the evaluation of the needs and use of health services; and the development of instruments for HSR.
The research background of the group has been focused on diseases with relevance due to their prevalence, severity and burden, such as breast and colon cancer, cataracts and knee arthroplasty, and mainly focused on the impact and determinants of these problems together with the costs of hospital care, participation and impact of preventive programs, factors related to the unmed needs for elective surgery, care of the immigrant population, etc. Currently the group is focused on the evaluation of cancer screening programs and cancer care.
Current research lines in collaboration with the other groups of the network are centred on:
• Evaluation of the health care process in cancer patients, from early diagnosis, to adherence, adverse effects, impact of the introduction of new technologies, survival and free-disease period.
• Variability of health care activity costs
• Construction of simulation models for the evaluation of new health care strategies
In the last 4 years the group has published 105 papers, 89 of them in international journals with IF, as well as several reports and transfer products. During the same period the group has participated in 51 projects, including public and private funding, being the PI in 24 of them, including an European project.

The two most relevant papers:
• Effect of protocol-related variables and women's characteristics on the cumulative falsepositive risk in breast cancer screening" by Roman R, Sala M, Salas D et al. Ann Oncol 2012; (IF:6.4)
• Unmet Needs and Waiting List Prioritization for Knee Arthroplasty by Comas M, Román R, Quintana JM et al., Clin Orthop Rel Res 2010; (IF: 2.16).

The two main projects:
• Evaluation of determinants of breast cancer detection and interval cancer in breast cancer screening programs, funded by ISCIII (177.000€);
• The costs of adverse effects in Spanish National Health Service Hospitals, funded by ISCIII (120.000€).

Transfer products:
• Dataset of the Spanish Network of Hospital Costs (RECH) including all stays per year from 10 Spanish hospitals
• Web platform with information and follow up of 1,5 million of screened women from Spanish breast cancer screening programs (

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