How to develop cost-conscious guidelines

Eccles M, Mason J
Record ID 32001000097
Authors' objectives:

This report describes the methods developed to handle benefit, harm and cost concepts in clinical guidelines. It reports a series of case studies, each describing the development of a clinical guideline; each case study illustrates different issues in incorporating these different types of evidence.

Authors' results and conclusions: The cost-effectiveness sections of 11 guidelines are reported to illustrate both the range of methods used and the nature of the recommendations reached by the guideline development groups when considering the profile of consequences of treatments including costs. These guidelines are broadly grouped as: (1) those using qualitative evidence summary methods; (2) those using quantitative evidence summary methods and addressing relatively narrow clinical questions; (3) those using quantitative evidence summary methods and addressing a broad clinical area; (4) a guideline based upon a decision analysis model.
Authors' recommendations: The focus of this project was to explore the methods of incorporating cost issues within clinical guidelines. However, the process of reviewing evidence in guideline development groups is becoming increasingly sophisticated, not only in considerations of cost but also in review techniques and group process. At the outset of the project it was unclear how narrowly or broadly the concept of cost could be considered. It is now clear that, alongside the effectiveness data and data describing quality of life, cost issues can successfully be represented as part of a profile of treatment attributes. It is also clear that, when used appropriately, modelling processes can provide valuable input into guideline development processes.
Authors' methods: Case study
Project Status: Completed
URL for project:
Year Published: 2001
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Economics, Medical
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
Organisation Name: NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health and Care Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: 2009 Queen's Printer and Controller of HMSO
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.