[Comparison of tools for assessing the methodological quality of primary and secondary studies in health technology assessment reports in Germany]

Dreier M, Borutta B, Stahmeyer J, Krauth C, Walter U
Record ID 32009100065
Authors' objectives:

To compare and evaluate quality assessment tools (QAT) that are available to assess the quality of interventional studies or studies in the field of health economics with respect to formal and content criteria.

Authors' recommendations: The report identifies 8 systematic methodological reviews and 147 QAT (15 for systematic reviews, 80 for randomized trials, 30 for observational studies, 17 for diagnostic studies, and 22 for health economic studies). Existing tools for assessing study quality can be classified into scales, checklists, and component ratings. The tools vary considerably as regards their content, performance, and quality of operationalization. Some tools include not only items of internal validity, but also items of quality concerning reporting and external validity. No tool covers all elements or domains. Design-specific generic tools are presented, which cover most of the content criteria. Evaluation of QAT by using content criteria is difficult due to the absence of scientific consensus on the necessary elements of internal validity, and not all of the generally accepted elements are based on empirical evidence. Comparing QAT based on content neglects the operationalization of the respective parameters, for which quality and precision are important for transparency, reproducibility, correct assessment, and interrater reliability. QAT, which mix items on the quality of reporting and internal validity, should be avoided. Mixing the reporting quality and internal validity can lead to misinterpretation of study quality, if elements of the reporting quality are used as a surrogate for assessing methodological quality.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2010
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Germany
MeSH Terms
  • Consensus Development Conferences as Topic
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Research
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical
Organisation Name: German Agency for HTA at the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information
Contact Address: German Agency for Health Technology Assessment at the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information, Waisenhausgasse 36-38a, D-50676 Cologne Germany
Contact Name: dahta@dimdi.de
Contact Email: dahta@dimdi.de
Copyright: German Agency for Health Technology Assessment at the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information (DAHTA@ DIMDI)
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.