Objectives: The objective of this study is to describe how patient aspects are assessed in Danish HTA reports, thereby contributing to the ongoing international debates concerning patient aspects in HTAs.
Methods: Fifty-eight Danish HTA reports published from 1999 to 2010 were read systematically, focusing on the inclusion of patient aspects, the methods used to generate data, and if and how clinical recommendations concerning patient aspects were drawn.
Results: Most of the fifty-eight HTA reports had a separate chapter about patient aspects. All reports included literature reviews for patient aspects. There was, however, much variation in the ways in which the authors presented and discussed their review methods. The most frequently used databases for the literature search were medical and HTA databases. More than half of the reports included primary research, either quantitative or qualitative methods, a few used both kinds of methods. Whereas some mentioned the importance of including patient aspects in daily clinical practice, others provided ideas on how to improve patient information or recommended changes in healthcare practices.
Conclusions: Danish HTA reports do, to a large extent, include patient aspects in the assessment and in the final conclusions of the reports. If health policy and decision making is to be patient-focused, it is important that HTAs in the future integrate patient aspects in recommendations of HTA. Further improvement in assessments of patient aspects, in relation to use and description of methodologies and theoretical considerations, will assist producing the relevant evidence for these recommendations.