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Consideration of ethical, legal, and social issues plus patient values (ELSI+) in health technology assessment (HTA) is challenging because of a lack of conceptual clarity and the multi-disciplinary nature of ELSI+. We used concept mapping to identify key concepts and inter-relationships in the ELSI+ domain and provide a conceptual framework for consideration of ELSI+ in HTA.
We conducted a scoping review (Medline and EMBASE, 2000–2016) to identify ELSI+ issues in the HTA literature. Items from the scoping review and an expert brainstorming session were consolidated into eighty ELSI+-related statements, which were entered into Concept Systems® Global MAX™ software. Participants (N = 38; 36 percent worked as researchers, 21 percent as academics; 42 percent self-identified as HTA experts) sorted the statements into thematic groups, and rated them on importance in making decisions about adopting technologies in Canada, from 1 (not at all important) to 5 (extremely important). We used Concept Systems® Global MAX™ software to create and analyze concept maps with four to sixteen clusters.
Our final ELSI+ map consisted of five clusters, with each cluster representing a different concept and the statements within each cluster representing the same concept. Based on the concepts, we named these clusters: patient preferences/experiences, patient quality of life/function, patient burden/harm, fairness, and organizational. The highest mean importance ratings were for the statements in the patient burden/harm (3.82) and organizational (3.92) clusters.
This study suggests an alternative approach to ELSI+, based on conceptual coherence rather than academic disciplines. This will provide a foundation for incorporating ELSI+ into HTA.
Objectives: The objective of this study was to explore the degree to which databases other than MEDLINE contribute studies relevant for inclusion in rapid health technology assessments (HTA).
Methods: We determined the extent to which the clinical, economic, and social studies included in twenty-one full and four rapid HTAs published by three Canadian HTA agencies from 2007 to 2012 were indexed in MEDLINE. Other electronic databases, including EMBASE, were then searched, in sequence, to assess whether or not they indexed studies not found in MEDLINE. Assessment topics ranged from purely clinical (e.g., drug-eluting stents) to those with broader social implications (e.g., spousal violence).
Results: MEDLINE contributed the majority of studies in all but two HTA reports, indexing a mean of 89.6 percent of clinical studies across all HTAs, and 88.3 percent of all clinical, economic, and social studies in twenty-four of twenty-five HTAs. While EMBASE contributed unique studies to twenty-two of twenty-five HTAs, three rapid HTAs did not include any EMBASE studies. In some instances, PsycINFO and CINAHL contributed as many, if not more, non-MEDLINE studies than EMBASE.
Conclusions: Our findings highlight the importance of assessing the topic-specific relative value of including EMBASE, or more specialized databases, in HTA search protocols. Although MEDLINE continues to be a key resource for HTAs, the time and resource limitations inherent in the production of rapid HTAs require that researchers carefully consider the value and limitations of other information sources to identify relevant studies.
Objectives: This report is a scoping review of the literature with the objective of identifying definitions, conceptual models and frameworks, as well as the methods and range of perspectives, for determining appropriateness in the context of healthcare delivery.
Methods: To lay groundwork for future, intervention-specific research on appropriateness, this work was carried out as a scoping review of published literature since 1966. Two reviewers, with two screens using inclusion/exclusion criteria based on the objective, focused the research and articles chosen for review.
Results: The first screen examined 2,829 abstracts/titles, with the second screen examining 124 full articles, leaving 37 articles deemed highly relevant for data extraction and interpretation. Appropriateness is defined largely in terms of net clinical benefit to the average patient and varies by service and setting. The most widely used method to assess appropriateness of healthcare services is the RAND/UCLA Model. There are many related concepts such as medical necessity and small-areas variation.
Conclusions: A broader approach to determining appropriateness for healthcare interventions is possible and would involve clinical, patient and societal perspectives.
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