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Table 3 Descriptive and reporting characteristics of included cost-effectiveness analyses (n = 223)

From: The quality of reporting methods and results of cost-effectiveness analyses in Spain: a methodological systematic review

Category Characteristic Number Percent
Title Identification   
   Specific terms “cost-effectiveness” or “cost-utility analysis” in title 181 81.2
Objective Study question   
   Clear presentation of study question and its relevance for decision-making 187 83.9
Methods Protocol   
   Existence of study protocol (or a priori established methods) 10 4.5
  Type of study   
   Model based 200 89.7
    Deterministic decision-tree model 29 13.0
    Markov model 135 60.5
    Discrete event simulation 11 4.9
    Other (or unclear) 25 11.2
   Non-model based 23 10.3
    Observational (non-interventional) study 13 5.8
    Randomized controlled trial 10 4.5
  Population   
   Number of participants included (or simulated) 127 57.0
  Adequate description of characteristics of the base case population 105 47.1
   Adults 170 76.2
   Children and adolescents 11 4.9
   Newborn and infants (less than 1 year) 8 3.5
   Overall population 4 1.8
   Not reported 30 13.5
  Type of interventions   
   Pharmaceuticals 143 64.1
   Device/procedure 28 12.6
   Screening 16 7.2
   Surgery 12 5.4
   Educational/behavioural 8 3.6
   Other 16 7.2
  Type of comparators   
   Active alternative 111 49.8
   Usual care 73 32.7
   Placebo or do nothing 39 17.5
  Adequate description of interventions and comparators 184 82.5
  Study perspective clearly stated 207 92.8
   National Health System only 156 70.0
   National Health System and societal 25 11.2
   Societal only 17 7.6
   Hospital 9 4.0
  Time horizon reported 218 97.8
   Short term 44 19.7
   Long term (>1 year and lifetime) 174 78.0
  Diagram of model or patients/events pathway reported 178 79.8
  Assumptions discussed 172 77.1
  Model validation discussed (when applicable) 88 44.0
  Reasons for the specific model used (when applicable) 91 45.5
  Measurement of effectivenessa   
   Based on a single study 87 39.0
   Based on evidence synthesis (e.g. systematic review and/or meta-analysis) 40 17.9
  Full description of QALY calculation 42 18.8
  Harms were considered 129 57.8
  Cost and resources information   
   Source of valuation for all cost items reported 216 96.9
   Quantity of resources 107 48.0
   Year of monetary units 195 87.4
  Costing   
   Direct costs only 182 81.6
   Direct and indirect costs 41 18.4
  Discount rate for costs and QALYs 161 72.2
Results Net costs reported 197 88.3
  Net benefits reported 192 86.1
  Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) reported 207 92.8
  Confidence intervals (e.g. 95 % CI) 27 12.1
  Cost-effectiveness plane 99 44.4
  Acceptability curves 92 41.3
  Sensitivity analysis reported 201 90.1
   For costs 170 76.2
   For estimates of effectiveness 158 70.9
   For utility weights 95 42.6
   For discount rates 82 36.8
  Type of sensitivity analysis   
   Deterministic univariate 85 38.1
   Deterministic multivariate 6 2.7
   Probabilistic 110 49.3
  Results for the primary outcome in the base case scenario   
   More costs, more QALYs 147 65.9
   Less costs, more QALYs 63 28.3
   Less costs, comparable QALYs 5 2.2
   More costs, comparable QALYs 4 1.8
   Less costs, less QALYs 2 0.9
   Comparable costs, more QALYs 2 0.9
Discussion Limitations of study discussed 197 88.3
  Results compared with those of other economic evaluations 165 74.0
  Hypothetical willingness-to-pay (WTP) threshold reported   
   <30,000 €/QALY 4 1.8
   30,000 €/QALY 126 56.5
   >30,000 €/QALY–≤50,000 €/QALY 36 16.1
   >50,000 €/QALY 7 3.1
   Unclear or not reported 50 22.4
  Study conclusions   
   Favourable 200 89.7
   Unfavourable 12 5.4
   Neutral/unclear 11 4.9
Other Disclosed funding sources 169 75.8
   Private/for profit 135 60.5
   Public 38 17.0
   None/not reported 49 22.0
   Mixed 1 0.4
  Disclosed conflicts of interest 135 60.5
   With conflicts of interest 94 42.1
   With no conflicts of interest 41 18.4
  Disclosed authors’ contribution 46 20.6
  1. aMeasurement of effectiveness only relates to effect estimates. The epidemiology of disease and/or transition probabilities were not necessarily based on a systematic review and meta-analysis