Searching for studies

There were three stages to the search, each of which is described in more detail below:

  • Review level search.
  • Supplemental searches.
  • De novo reviews.

The review level search covered all the public health interventions. If a high quality review or set of reviews, e.g. HTA or reviews underpinning NICE guidance, was found for an intervention then no more searching was undertaken for that intervention. If however the review level search did not uncover suitable evidence for an intervention, supplemental, in-depth searches for review level evidence were undertaken. Finally, if still no evidence was forthcoming, a de novo review was done where literature sources were searched for primary cost-effectiveness studies for that intervention.

A number of search methods were used throughout the three stages,, including:

  • Systematic searches of databases using a combination of keywords and indexing terms.
  • Citation searches in Google Scholar; ‘related article’ searches in Pubmed and OViD.
  • Grey literature searches in the Intute, TRIP and Google Scholar databases.
  • Hand searching of references of relevant articles.

Review level searches

The following sources were searched for relevant reviews:

  • Health Technology Assessment Database (HTA)
  • Economic Evaluation Database (EED)
  • Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE) (including Cochrane systematic reviews)
  • National Library of Guidelines Specialist Library (now NHS Evidence)
  • Database of promoting health effectiveness reviews (DoPHER)

Results were imported into Reference Manager and were appraised by an information specialist and a health research analyst. Search and appraisal terms used for each of the seventeen interventions are described in full in the Public Intervention Literature Map (LINK). Supplemental searches were conducted for interventions where cost-effectiveness and effectiveness data were not available through the initial search for high quality systematic reviews. No further searches were completed for interventions with suitable data for both effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.

Supplemental searching

Supplemental searches were required for the following interventions:

  • National mass media campaigns to reduce population obesity
  • Increases in taxation to reduce population consumption of alcohol
  • National mass media campaigns to reduce population consumption of alcohol
  • Increasing taxation to reduce population smoking rates

Hand-searching of the following two reviews was also undertaken for these interventions:

  • McDaid D, Needle J. Economic evaluation and public health: mapping the literature. Report prepared for the Welsh Assembly Government Health Promotion Division. Wanless Health Economics Research Programme. Cardiff, October 2006.
  • Drummond. Assessing the challenges of applying standard methods of economic evaluation to public health interventions. PHRC Short Report 1. 2007.

For relevant or near relevant articles identified, citation searches in Google Scholar and ‘related article’ searches in Pubmed and OViD were used to uncover further related articles. Articles were imported into Reference Manager and were appraised by an information specialist and a health research analyst.

De novo review(s)

It was necessary to do a de novo review for one intervention: “National mass media campaigns to reduce population consumption of alcohol”. The de novo review consisted of systematic searches for reviews and individual studies of cost-effectiveness in MEDLINE and EMBASE (using search filters as necessary), and grey literature searches of Google Scholar, Intute and the TRIP database.

As with the supplemental search above, references of relevant or near relevant articles were hand-searched, and citation searches in Google Scholar and ‘related article’ searches in Pubmed and OViD were used to identify further relevant articles. Articles were extracted into Reference Manager and appraised by an information specialist and a health research analyst.

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18 July 2018 07:23 Health England Leading Prioritisation vaspiraHub 2018.7760