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Development of a toolkit and glossary to aid in the adaptation of health technology assessment (HTA) reports for use in different contexts

D Chase, C Rosten, S Turner, N Hicks, R Milne
Health Technology Assessment: HTA 2009, 13 (59): 1-142, iii
19958718

OBJECTIVES: To develop a health technology assessment (HTA) adaptation toolkit and glossary of adaptation terms for use by HTA agencies within EU member states to support them in adapting HTA reports written for other contexts.

METHODS: The toolkit and glossary were developed by a partnership of 28 HTA agencies and networks across Europe (EUnetHTA work package 5), led by the UK National Coordinating Centre for Health Technology Assessment (NCCHTA). Methods employed for the two resources were literature searching, a survey of adaptation experience, two rounds of a Delphi survey, meetings of the partnership and drawing on the expertise and experience of the partnership, two rounds of review, and two rounds of quality assurance testing. All partners were requested to provide input into each stage of development.

RESULTS: The resulting toolkit is a collection of resources, in the form of checklists of questions on relevance, reliability and transferability of data and information, and links to useful websites, that help the user assess whether data and information in existing HTA reports can be adapted for a different setting. The toolkit is designed for the adaptation of evidence synthesis rather than primary research. The accompanying glossary provides descriptions of meanings for HTA adaptation terms from HTA agencies across Europe. It seeks to highlight differences in the use and understanding of each word by HTA agencies. The toolkit and glossary are available for use by all HTA agencies and can be accessed via www.eunethta.net/.

CONCLUSIONS: These resources have been developed to help HTA agencies make better use of HTA reports produced elsewhere. They can be used by policy-makers and clinicians to aid in understanding HTA reports written for other contexts. The main implication of this work is that there is the potential for the adaptation of HTA reports and, if utilised, this should release resources to enable the development of further HTA reports. Recommendations for the further development of the toolkit include the potential to develop an interactive web-based version and to extend the toolkit to facilitate the adaptation of HTA reports on diagnostic testing and screening.

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