[Ethical aspects of short health technology assessments--a systematic review]

Z Arztl Fortbild Qualitatssich. 2003 Dec;97(10):711-5.
[Article in German]


Ethical aspects are of high relevance to Short Health Technology Assessments (HTAs). We therefore conducted a systematic review to find out to what extent ethical aspects have been considered in previous Short HTAs. We included articles whose title or abstract suggested that it was a "short", "rapid" or "brief" assessment published in German, English, or French. 272 out of 513 Short HTAs were included. Twenty-five publications (9%) explicitly mentioned ethical aspects, 32 publications (12%) dealt with ethical aspects without explicitly addressing them as 'ethical', 208 publications (76%) did not consider ethical aspects and in another 7 publications (3%) ethical aspects were not relevant. Short HTAs are regularly used to assess sparsely evaluated and/or emerging technologies for which a particular need for an ethical assessment can be assumed. However, the majority of the Short HTAs included in this review did not consider ethical aspects. In this article we therefore suggest a set of key words that will allow authors of Short HTAs to do a systematic literature search for ethical papers in their respective subject of investigation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Technology / ethics
  • Biomedical Technology / standards*
  • England
  • Ethics, Research*
  • France
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Needs Assessment / ethics
  • Needs Assessment / standards