Performance Improvement 2008. Should an Outcome Evaluation of In Vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Centers Be Conducted?

01/01/2008

This study explored whether an outcome evaluation of the In Vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Centers (ICMIC) Program was both warranted and feasible, and, if so, to recommend an outcome evaluation design. The ICMIC Program has supported the emerging field of molecular imaging by funding Research Center Grants. The initiatives were designed to enhance molecular imaging impact on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer non-invasively and quantitatively. The ICMIC brought together interdisciplinary scientific teams to lead cutting-edge cancer molecular imaging research with clinical relevance; provided facilities to support oncology imaging research; provided flexibility to respond to pilot research opportunities; and provided interdisciplinary career development opportunities.

Sixteen Pre-ICMIC planning grants were awarded to establish multi-disciplinary infrastructure and preliminary data, which were necessary to eventually compete for ICMIC awards. The feasibility study of evaluating the ICMIC program involved: 1) consulting with cancer imaging program staff; 2) developing provisional logic model that describes the inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, impacts, and external influences; 3) reviewing and analyzing existing data; and 4) developing an outcome evaluation design.

The ICMIC program was found to be ripe for an outcome evaluation. ICMIC activities, outcomes and impacts are sufficiently varied and complex that in-depth analysis beyond feasibility study is worthwhile. An evaluation could influence the management of Centers programs across the National Cancer Institute. Future outcome evaluations should be quasi-experimental, of an intervention-comparison form.

Report Title: Feasibility Study for an Evaluation of the In Vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Centers Program. Report may be obtained from Federal Contact
Agency Sponsor:
NIH, National Institutes of Health
Federal Contact: Anne Menkens, 301-496-9531
Performer: Science and Technology Policy Institute/IDA
PIC ID: 8758

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