Objectives: In this article, we describe how to include considerations about resource utilization when making recommendations according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.
Study design and settings: We focus on challenges with rating the confidence in effect estimates (quality of evidence) and incorporating resource use into evidence profiles and Summary of Findings (SoF) tables.
Results: GRADE recommends that important differences in resource use between alternative management strategies should be included along with other important outcomes in the evidence profile and SoF table. Key steps in considering resources in making recommendations with GRADE are the identification of items of resource use that may differ between alternative management strategies and that are potentially important to decision makers, finding evidence for the differences in resource use, making judgments regarding confidence in effect estimates using the same criteria used for health outcomes, and valuing the resource use in terms of costs for the specific setting for which recommendations are being made.
Conclusions: With our framework, decision makers will have access to concise summaries of recommendations, including ratings of the quality of economic evidence, and better understand the implications for clinical decision making.
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