Impact of Cochrane reviews on Health Technology Assessments

Abstract text
Health Technology Assessments (HTA) systematically review medical, economic, social and ethical aspects of a health technology (including drugs; diagnostics, indicators and reagents; devices, equipment and supplies; medical and surgical procedures; support systems; and organisational and managerial systems used in prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation). They aim to support policy makers in decisions on health care spending.
The Cochrane Handbook defines Cochrane reviews (CR) as syntheses of research-based evidence aiming to support ‘healthcare providers, consumers, researchers, and policy makers’. However, little is known about the impact of CR on HTA and hence about the process of translating CR into policy making.

To assess the impact of CR on HTA and to describe characteristics of included CR.

Reports of the HTA programme of the National Institute for Health Research (United Kingdom), the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (Germany) and the German Institute of Medical Documentation and Information will be assessed. For each HTA, the role of CR (not mentioned, background/discussion, literature source, included as evidence synthesis) and basic characteristics (e.g. year of publication, number of included studies/patients) will be extracted. Similarly, characteristics and certainty of authors’ conclusions will be extracted for these CR.
Chi-squared tests will be used to compare proportions of CRs used between countries (Germany vs. UK), years, and topic category (diagnostic procedures, drug assessment, health economics, non-drug interventions, public health, quality of health care, rehabilitation devices, other).

Around 1000 reports will be examined. Initial findings showed that 40 % (30/75) have not mentioned CR at all. The remaining reports used 217 CR for background or discussion, 24 CR as a literature source while 14 CR were included as evidence syntheses.

At the Colloquium, we will present more detailed findings and discuss potential implications for translating CR into policy making.
Wolff R1, Worthy G1, Kleijnen J2
1 Kleijnen Systematic Reviews Ltd, United Kingdom
2 Kleijnen Systematic Reviews Ltd, United Kingdom; Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Presenting author and contact person
Presenting author: 
Robert Wolff
Contact person Affiliation Country
Robert Wolff (Contact this person) Kleijnen Systematic Reviews Ltd United Kingdom
Date and Location
Oral session A3O4
Monday 1 October 2012 - 12:00 - 12:20