Objectives: The aim of this study was to analyze whether health technology assessment (HTA) reports published by SBU have influenced decisions, guidelines, clinical practice, or research priorities in Sweden.
Methods: All twenty-six SBU reports between 2006 and 2010 were analyzed. For each project, we searched publications and documentation that reflected impact on decisions, guidelines, research or clinical practice. Written documentation, before–after surveys or register-based time series data were used when available. Based on a conceptual model and on the available evidence, we determined whether HTA reports had a high, moderate, or low impact.
Results: HTA reports influenced comprehensive decisions to a high or moderate degree. In the case of fortifying flour with folic acid to a high degree. In ten cases, HTA reports were the primary source of clinical guidelines developed by the National Board of Health and Welfare (NBHW) or professional associations. In the cases of dyspepsia and gastro-esophageal reflux, as well as mild head injury, the HTA reports had a high impact on clinical practice. It was also obvious from this review that research had been initiated as a result of the knowledge gaps identified by HTA reports. In three cases, we had no adequate documentation, suggesting that the impact of the HTA report had been low.
Conclusions: Many interrelated forces change practice, but the cases presented here indicate that HTA reports have had a high impact on clinical guidelines, as well as a moderate or high impact on comprehensive decisions, the initiation of research and changes in clinical practice.