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Cardiac surgery has seen substantial scientific progress over recent decades. Health economic evaluations have become important tools for decision makers to prioritize scarce health resources. The present study aimed to identify and critically appraise the reporting quality of health economic evaluations conducted in the field of cardiac surgery.
A literature search was performed to identify health economic evaluations in cardiac surgery. The consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS) statement was used to assess the quality of reporting of studies.
A total 4,705 articles published between 1981 and 2016 were identified; sixty-nine studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. There was a trend toward a greater number of publications and reporting quality over time. Six (8.7 percent) studies were conducted between 1981 and 1990, nine (13 percent) between 1991 and 2000, twenty-four (34.8 percent) between 2001 and 2010, and thirty (43.5 percent) after 2011. The mean CHEERS score of all articles was 16.7/24; for those published between 1980 and 1990 the mean (SD) score was 10.2 (±1.4), for those published between 1991 and 2000 it was 11.2 (±2.4), between 2001 and 2010 it was 15.3 (±4.8), and after 2011 it was 19.9 (±2.9). The quality of reporting was still insufficient for several studies after 2000, especially concerning items “characterizing heterogeneity,” “assumptions,” and “choice of model.”
The present study suggests that, even if the quantity and the quality of health economics evaluation in cardiac surgery has increased, there remains a need for improvement in several reporting criteria to ensure greater transparency.
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