Table 4

Reporting quality of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) economic evaluations and comparable results of similar reviews in conventional medicine

Items from the BMJ Checklist [30] (Indented items apply only to a subset of studies)

Review of CAM Studies N (%)

Reviews of Conventional Medicine Studies N (%)


Study design

(1) The research question is stated

39 (74)

43 (16)*

(2) The economic importance of the research question is stated

39 (51)

(3) The perspective of the analysis is stated

39 (33)

228 (52)†

(4) The rationale for choosing the alternatives is stated

39 (69)

(5) The alternatives being compared are clearly described

39 (74)

228 (83)†

(6) The form of economic evaluation used is stated

39 (49)

(7) The choice of form of economic evaluation is justified

39 (3)

43 (7)*

Data collection

(8) The source(s) of effectiveness estimates are stated

38 (100)

(9) Details of the effectiveness study are given

36 (94)

or (10) Details of the review or meta-analysis are given

2 (50)

(11) Primary outcome measures are clearly stated

39 (95)

(12) Methods to value health states are stated

4 (100)

228 (75)†

43 (79)‡

(13) Details of the subjects from which values were obtained are given

4 (25)

228 (76)†

43 (46)‡

(14) Productivity changes are reported separately

8 (88)

(15) The relevance of productivity changes is discussed

8 (25)

(16) Quantities of resources are reported separately from unit costs

39 (67)

43 (19)‡

(17) Methods for the estimation of quantities and unit costs are described

39 (67)

(18) Currency and year are recorded

39 (41)

228 (68)†

(19) Details of adjustments for inflation or currency conversion are given

39 (21)

43 (21)*

(20) Details of any model used are given

3 (100)

(21) The choice of the model and its key parameters are justified

3 (100)

Analysis and interpretation of results

(22) Time horizon of costs and benefits is stated

39 (100)

(23) The discount rate is stated

4 (50)

228 (65)†

(24) The choice of discount rate is justified

4 (25)

43 (16)*

34 (21)‡

(25) An explanation is given if costs and benefits not discounted

4 (50)

8 (12)‡

(26) Details of statistical tests and confidence intervals are given for stochastic data

38 (87)

(27) The approach to sensitivity analysis is given

5 (100)

43 (2)*

(28) The choice of variables for sensitivity analysis is justified

5 (40)

39 (79)‡

(29) The ranges over which variables are varied are stated

5 (100)

228 (57)†

38 (66)‡

(30) Relevant alternatives are compared

39 (36)

228 (57)†

(31) Incremental analysis is reported

13 (54)

228 (46)†

(32) Major outcomes are presented disaggregated and aggregated

39 (85)

(33) The answer to the study question is given

39 (69)

(34) Conclusions follow from the data reported

39 (100)

(35) Conclusions are accompanied by the appropriate caveats

39 (67)

228 (84)†


* Comparable estimates available from Jefferson et al, 1998 [83].

† Comparable estimates available from Neumann, 2004 [6], a systematic review of cost-utility analyses.

‡ Comparable estimates available from Gerard et al, 2000 [84], a systematic review of cost-utility analyses.

Herman et al. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2005 5:11   doi:10.1186/1472-6882-5-11

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