International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care



A TOOL TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF REPORTING PUBLISHED ECONOMIC ANALYSES


Karen  Gerard a1, Janelle  Seymour a2 and Irenie  Smoker a3
a1 Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation (CHERE), University of Sydney
a2 Health Economics Research Unit (HERU), University of Aberdeen and CHERE, University of Sydney
a3 New South Wales Department of Health

Abstract

Objectives: To test the feasibility of obtaining a baseline level of quality of reporting for cost-utility analysis (CUA) studies using the British Medical Journal economic submissions checklist, test interrater reliability of this tool, and discuss its longer term implications.

Methods: CUA studies in peer-reviewed English language journals in 1996, assessed using the British Medical Journal checklist, a quality index, and interrater reliability correlations.

Results: Forty-three CUA studies were assessed, with 23 checklist items acceptable and 10 items inadequate. Lowest quality scores were reported in specialist medical journals. Proportional agreement between assessors was over 80%.

Conclusions: The British Medical Journal checklist is a feasible tool to collect baseline information on the quality of reporting in journals other than the British Medical Journal. Editors of specialist medical journals are in greatest need of economic guidance. If handled carefully, they might consider adopting the British Medical Journal checklist.


Key Words: Cost-utility analysis; Economic evaluation; guidelines; Reporting standards; Research in practice.