Background: Equity in health has become an important policy agenda around the world, prompting health economists to advance methods to enable the inclusion of equity in economic evaluations. Among the methods that have been proposed to explicitly include equity are the weighting analysis, equity impact analysis, and equity trade-off analysis. This is a new development and a comprehensive overview of trends and concepts of health equity in economic evaluations is lacking. Thus, our objective is to map the current state of the literature with respect to how health equity is considered in economic evaluations of health interventions reported in the academic and gray literature.
Methods: We will conduct a scoping review to identify and map evidence on how health equity is considered in economic evaluations of health interventions. We will search relevant electronic, gray literature and key journals. We developed a search strategy using text words and Medical Subject Headings terms related to health equity and economic evaluations of health interventions. Articles retrieved will be uploaded to reference manager software for screening and data extraction. Two reviewers will independently screen the articles based on their titles and abstracts for inclusion, and then will independently screen a full text to ascertain final inclusion. A simple numerical count will be used to quantify the data and a content analysis will be conducted to present the narrative; that is, a thematic summary of the data collected.
Discussion: The results of this scoping review will provide a comprehensive overview of the current evidence on how health equity is considered in economic evaluations of health interventions and its research gaps. It will also provide key information to decision-makers and policy-makers to understand ways to include health equity into the prioritization of health interventions when aiming for a more equitable distribution of health resources.
Systematic review registration: This protocol was registered with Open Science Framework (OSF) Registry on August 14, 2019 (https://osf.io/9my2z/registrations).
Keywords: Decision-making; Economic evaluations; Health equity; Health interventions; Scoping review.