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Evaluating the conduct and application of health utility studies: a review of critical appraisal tools and reporting checklists

Michael J. Zoratti (), A. Simon Pickard (), Peep F. M. Stalmeier (), Daniel Ollendorf (), Andrew Lloyd (), Kelvin K W Chan (), Don Husereau (), John E. Brazier (), Murray Krahn (), Mitchell Levine (), Lehana Thabane () and Feng Xie ()
Additional contact information
Michael J. Zoratti: McMaster University
A. Simon Pickard: The University of Illinois at Chicago
Peep F. M. Stalmeier: Radboud University Medical Centre
Daniel Ollendorf: Tufts Medical Center
Andrew Lloyd: Acaster Lloyd Consulting Ltd
Kelvin K W Chan: Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre
John E. Brazier: University of Sheffield
Murray Krahn: Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, University Health Network
Mitchell Levine: McMaster University
Lehana Thabane: McMaster University
Feng Xie: McMaster University

The European Journal of Health Economics, 2021, vol. 22, issue 5, No 6, 723-733

Abstract: Abstract Background Published health utility studies are increasingly cited in cost–utility analyses to inform reimbursement decision-making. However, there is limited guidance for investigators looking to systematically evaluate the methodological quality of health utility studies or their applicability to decision contexts. Objective To describe how health utility concepts are reflected in tools intended for use with the health economic literature, particularly with respect to the evaluation of methodological quality and context applicability. Methods We reviewed the critical appraisal and reporting tools described in a 2012 report published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), supplemented with a keyword search of MEDLINE and EMBASE, to identify existing tools which include health utility constructs. From these tools, a list of relevant items was compiled and grouped into domain categories based on the methodological or applicability aspect they were directed toward. Results Of the 24 tools we identified, 12 contained items relevant to the evaluation of health utilities. Sixty-five items were considered relevant to the evaluation of quality, while 44 were relevant to the evaluation of applicability. Items were arranged into four domains: health state descriptions; selection and description of respondents; elicitation and measurement methods; and other considerations. Conclusion As key inputs to cost–utility analyses, health utilities have the potential to significantly impact estimates of cost-effectiveness. Existing tools contain only general items related to the conduct or use of health utility studies. There is a need to develop tools that systematically evaluate the methodological quality and applicability of health utility studies.

Keywords: Health utility; Checklist; Cost utility analysis; Methodology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s10198-021-01286-0

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