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.