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Our objective was to assess how, and to what extent, a systems-level perspective is considered in decision-making processes for health interventions by illustrating how studies define the boundaries of the system in their analyses and by defining the decision-making context in which a systems-level perspective is undertaken.
We conducted a scoping review following the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology. MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and EconLit were searched and key search concepts included decision making, system, and integration. Studies were classified according to an interpretation of the “system” of analysis used in each study based on a four-level model of the health system (patient, care team, organization, and/or policy environment) and using categories (based on intervention type and system impacts considered) to describe the decision-making context.
A total of 2,664 articles were identified and 29 were included for analysis. Most studies (16/29; 55%) considered multiple levels of the health system (i.e., patient, care team, organization, environment) in their analysis and assessed multiple classes of interventions versus a single class of intervention (e.g., pharmaceuticals, screening programs). Approximately half (15/29; 52%) of the studies assessed the influence of policy options on the system as a whole, and the other half assessed the impact of interventions on other phases of the disease pathway or life trajectory (14/29; 48%).
We found that systems thinking is not common in areas where health technology assessments (HTAs) are typically conducted. Against this background, our study demonstrates the need for future conceptualizations and interpretations of systems thinking in HTA.
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.
Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) pose a significant global health threat.
To conduct a systematic review of health outcomes and long-term sequelae attributable to CPE infection.
We followed PRISMA reporting guidelines and published our review protocol on PROSPERO (CRD42018097357). We searched Medline, Embase, CINAHL and the Cochrane Library. We included primary studies with a carbapenem-susceptible control group in high-income countries, published in English. Quality appraisal was completed using Joanna Briggs Institute checklists. We qualitatively summarized frequently reported outcomes and conducted a meta-analysis.
Our systematic review identified 8,671 studies; 17 met the eligibility criteria for inclusion. All studies reported health outcomes; none reported health-related quality-of-life. Most studies were from Europe (65%), were conducted in teaching or university-affiliated hospitals (76%), and used case-control designs (53%). Mortality was the most commonly reported consequence of CPE-infections; in-hospital mortality was most often reported (62%). Our meta-analysis (n = 5 studies) estimated an absolute risk difference (ARD) for in-hospital bloodstream infection mortality of 0.25 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.17–0.32). Duration of antibiotic therapy (range, 4–29.7 vs 1–23.6 days) and length of hospital stay (range, 21–87 vs 15–43 days) were relatively higher for CPE-infected patients than for patients infected with carbapenem-susceptible pathogens. Most studies (82%) met >80% of their respective quality appraisal criteria.
The risk of in-hospital mortality due to CPE bloodstream infection is considerably greater than carbapenem-susceptible bloodstream infection (ARD, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.17–0.32). Health outcome studies associated with CPE infection are focused on short-term (eg, in-hospital) outcomes; long-term sequelae and quality-of-life are not well studied.
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