What Guidance are Economists Given on How to Present Economic Evaluations for Policymakers? A Systematic Review

Sep 1, 2015, 00:00 AM
Section Order : 21
First Page : 915


To systematically review health economic guidelines for information on how to present health economic evaluations and consider implications for nontechnical audiences such as policymakers.


Electronic databases and supplementary sources were searched for economic evaluation guidelines. Guidelines were critically appraised. Descriptive characteristics, standard formats, supports for nontechnical audiences, presentation approaches, and common reporting recommendations were extracted. Frequencies were tabulated and trends identified.


Thirty-one guidelines were included. Twenty-two guidelines include a standard reporting format with some sample tables and graphs. Common presentation approaches include well-cited tables of data sources, transparent model diagrams and descriptions, disaggregated results, and tabular and graphical displays of sensitivity analyses. Despite most guidelines being funded by policymakers, only five guidelines provided advice on presenting economic evaluations to noneconomists. However, 11 guidelines included a glossary of economic terminology for nontechnical readers. Common concepts that may require further explanation include differences in economic perspectives, appropriateness of time horizons, how economic outcomes such as quality-adjusted life-years relate to their component clinical outcomes, and choice of sensitivity analyses.


Health economists have consistent presentation formats and common reporting elements that should be considered when developing user-friendly explanations for general audiences. These overlap with policymakers’ informational needs but may not be sufficient for understanding by nontechnical audiences. Developing presentation formats and tools that incorporate viewpoints of both economists and noneconomists will allow for better application of the results of economic evaluations and enhance the transparency and legitimacy of decision-making processes that are informed by economic evaluations.

HEOR Topics :
  • Cost-comparison, Effectiveness, Utility, Benefit Analysis
  • Economic Evaluation
  • Literature Review & Synthesis
  • Study Approaches
Tags :
  • economic evaluation
  • guidelines
  • presentation formats
  • systematic review
Regions :
  • Global