Use of Checklists in Reviews of Health Economic Evaluations, 2010 to 2018

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Objective: It is useful for reviewers of economic evaluations to assess quality in a manner that is consistent and comprehensive. Checklists can allow this, but there are concerns about their reliability and how they are used in practice. We aimed to describe how checklists have been used in systematic reviews of health economic evaluations. Methods: Meta-review with snowball sampling. We compiled a list of checklists for health economic evaluations and searched for the checklists 'use in systematic reviews from January 2010 to February 2018. We extracted data regarding checklists used, stated checklist function, subject area, number of reviewers, and issues expressed about checklists. Results: We found 346 systematic reviews since 2010 that used checklists to assess economic evaluations. The most common checklist in use was developed in 1996 by Drummond and Jefferson, and the most common stated use of a checklist was quality assessment. Checklists and their use varied within subject areas; 223 reviews had more than one reviewer who used the checklist. Conclusions: Use of checklists is inconsistent. Eighteen individual checklists have been used since 2010, many of which have been used in ways different from those originally intended, often without justification. Different systematic reviews in the same subject areas would benefit from using one checklist exclusively, using checklists as intended, and having 2 reviewers complete the checklist. This would increase the likelihood that results are transparent and comparable over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-382
Number of pages6
JournalValue in Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


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