How to prepare a systematic review of economic evaluations for informing evidence-based healthcare decisions: a five-step approach (part 1/3)

Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res. 2016 Dec;16(6):689-704. doi: 10.1080/14737167.2016.1246960. Epub 2016 Nov 2.


Systematic reviews of economic evaluations are useful for synthesizing economic evidence about health interventions and for informing evidence-based decisions. Areas covered: As there is no detailed description of the methods for performing a systematic review of economic evidence, this paper aims to provide an overview of state-of-the-art methodology. This is laid out in a 5-step approach, as follows: step 1) initiating a systematic review; step 2) identifying (full) economic evaluations; step 3) data extraction, risk of bias and transferability assessment; step 4) reporting results; step 5) discussion and interpretation of findings. Expert commentary: The paper aims to help inexperienced reviewers and clinical practice guideline developers, but also to be a resource for experts in the field who want to check on current methodological developments.

Keywords: Methods; clinical practice guidelines; data extraction; databases; economic evaluations; guidance; quality appraisal; reporting and discussion; risk of bias; search strategies; systematic reviews.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Bias
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Making*
  • Delivery of Health Care / economics
  • Delivery of Health Care / methods*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / economics
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Research Design
  • Review Literature as Topic*