Early assessments of health technologies help to better align and integrate their development and assessment. Such assessments can take many forms and serve different purposes, hampering users in their selection of the most appropriate method for a specific goal. The aim of this scoping review was to structure the large set of methods according to their specific goal.
A scoping review was conducted using PubMed and reference lists of retrieved articles, to identify review studies with a methodological focus. From the included reviews, all individual methods were listed. Based on additional literature and examples, we extracted the specific goal of each method. All goals were clustered to derive a set of subclasses and methods were grouped into these subclasses.
Of the 404 screened, 5 reviews were included, and 1 was added when searching reference lists. The reviews described 56 methods, of which 43 (77%) were included and classified as methods to (1) explore the nature and magnitude of the problem, (2) estimate the nature and magnitude of the expected (societal) value, (3) identify conditions for the potential value to materialize, and (4) help develop and design the type of research that is needed.
The wide range of methods for exploring the societal value of health technologies at an early stage of development can be subdivided into a limited number of classes, distinguishing methods according to their specific objective. This facilitates selection of appropriate methods, depending on the specific needs and aims.
Janneke P.C. Grutters Anouck Kluytmans Gert Jan van der Wilt Marcia Tummers