Appraisal of: Shemilt I, Mugford M, Vale L, Craig D. Searching NHS EED and HEED to inform development of economic commentary for Cochrane intervention reviews. Oxford: Cochrane Collaboration; 2011.

Short description: 

This study explored methods to incorporate economic evaluations into Cochrane reviews, and part of the study involved searching NHS EED and HEED for economic studies. NHS EED and HEED searches were developed to identify relevant economic studies for 35 Cochrane reviews. The authors reported on database overlap and unique yield: 51 studies were unique to NHS EED and 9 to HEED. The authors recommend that searchers should use the strategies designed to find the review population (from the effects searches) when searching for burden of illness or cost of illness studies in NHS EED and HEED. If searching for economic evaluations, the intervention search strategy from the review is recommended. Searching both NHS EED and HEED is required to identify all potentially relevant economic evaluations, but only searches of HEED are required for other economic studies after changes to NHS EED in 2012.

Limitations stated by the author(s): 

No limitations are described.

Limitations stated by the reviewer(s): 
The authors seem to have re-used the population and intervention strategies from within the Cochrane reviews that they sampled. The authors did not assess the quality of those strategies, so there is the potential that the best strategies were not used in NHS EED and HEED. In addition, the two databases have very different interfaces and the same strategies would not have been feasible to test. The authors also make no mention of the importance of searching other databases, such as MEDLINE or Embase, when looking for economics-related material, especially for recently published information.
Study Type: 
Single study
Related Chapters: