Introduction: A common, broad definition of health technology assessment (HTA) has been agreed upon at the international level. The aim of this study was to investigate whether Danish HTA studies actually use this definition in practice.
Materials and methods: The study was conducted as a systematic literature review of the 27 HTA reports published by CEMTV from 1998 to 2004. The reports were analysed according to the four main components of the Danish HTA definition: technology, economics, the patient and the organisation, as well as various descriptive variants.
Results: The study showed that the broad definition of HTA is widely used in Denmark and that the partial use of the HTA concept is not used. All the Danish HTA studies included assessments of both technology and economic factors and from a variety of standpoints, and more than 90% also included assessments of patient and organisational factors. The literature review was the most commonly applied assessment method, while RCT and meta-analysis were rarely used. Two-thirds of the HTA studies provided direct policy recommendations.
Conclusion: In a policy decision-making framework, the Danish HTA reports were found to be more satisfactory than international HTA reports because of their extensive information content and the conscious effort to inform policy decision making.