Systematic reviews of economic analyses cannot be conducted in the same way as meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials. However, these reviews can provide important information for health care decision-makers. In this article, the authors present methodological challenges in performing systematic reviews of economic analyses based on past experience developing reviews for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. They also provide specific examples of the cost–effectiveness analyses of colorectal cancer screening.
- Literature searches to identify economic analyses should begin with the British National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED) and can also incorporate information from the CEA registry at the Harvard School of Public Health and hand-searches of relevant article bibliographies.
- In order to be accurate and useful, systematic reviews of economic analyses must adhere to high methodological standards for identifying, appraising and integrating information.