Methods for systematic reviews of health economic evaluations: a systematic review, comparison, and synthesis of method literature.

TitleMethods for systematic reviews of health economic evaluations: a systematic review, comparison, and synthesis of method literature.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMathes T, Walgenbach M, Antoine S-, Pieper D, Eikermann M
JournalMedical decision making : an international journal of the Society for Medical Decision Making
Volume34
Issue7
Pagination826-40
Date Published2014 Oct
ISSN1552-681X
AbstractINTRODUCTION: The quality of systematic reviews of health economic evaluations (SR-HE) is often limited because of methodological shortcomings. One reason for this poor quality is that there are no established standards for the preparation of SR-HE. The objective of this study is to compare existing methods and suggest best practices for the preparation of SR-HE. METHODS: To identify the relevant methodological literature on SR-HE, a systematic literature search was performed in Embase, Medline, the National Health System Economic Evaluation Database, the Health Technology Assessment Database, and the Cochrane methodology register, and webpages of international health technology assessment agencies were searched. The study selection was performed independently by 2 reviewers. Data were extracted by one reviewer and verified by a second reviewer. On the basis of the overlaps in the recommendations for the methods of SR-HE in the included papers, suggestions for best practices for the preparation of SR-HE were developed. RESULTS: Nineteen relevant publications were identified. The recommendations within them often differed. However, for most process steps there was some overlap between recommendations for the methods of preparation. The overlaps were taken as basis on which to develop suggestions for the following process steps of preparation: defining the research question, developing eligibility criteria, conducting a literature search, selecting studies, assessing the methodological study quality, assessing transferability, and synthesizing data. DISCUSSION: The differences in the proposed recommendations are not always explainable by the focus on certain evaluation types, target audiences, or integration in the decision process. Currently, there seem to be no standard methods for the preparation of SR-HE. The suggestions presented here can contribute to the harmonization of methods for the preparation of SR-HE.
DOI10.1177/0272989X14526470
Alternate JournalMed Decis Making