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Journal: International journal of technology assessment in health care


It is not yet established the advantages between amphotericin B lipid complex (ABLC) and liposomal (L-AmB) in patients with invasive fungal infections refractory to usual doses of conventional AmB (d-AmB), previous renal impairment, or unacceptable d-AmB renal toxicity. This systematic review aims to compare ABLC and L-AmB effectiveness and safety outcomes in these subgroups of patients.


Walking is a good way to meet physical activity guidelines. We examined the effectiveness of walking in groups compared with walking alone or inactive controls in physically healthy adults on physical activity and quality of life. (PROSPERO CRD42016033752).


Coverage decisions are decisions by third party payers about whether and how much to pay for technologies or services, and under what conditions. Given their complexity, a systematic and transparent approach is needed. The DECIDE (Developing and Evaluating Communication Strategies to Support Informed Decisions and Practice Based on Evidence) Project, a GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) Working Group initiative funded by the European Union, has developed GRADE Evidence to Decision (EtD) framework for different types of decisions, including coverage ones.

Concepts: European Union, Evaluation, United Kingdom, Slovakia


The aim of this study was to investigate how the societal perspective is conceptualized in economic evaluations and to assess how intersectoral costs and benefits (ICBs), that is, the costs and benefits pertaining to sectors outside the healthcare sector, impact their results.

Concepts: Evaluation, Cost, Concept, Reason


Some countries make considerable effort to involve patients and patient groups in their health technology assessment (HTA) processes; others are only just considering or are yet to consider patient involvement in HTA.

Concepts: Health care provider, Patient, Illness, Technology, Technology assessment


The adoption of new medical devices and diagnostics is often hampered by lack of published evidence which makes conventional health technology assessment (HTA) difficult. We now have 5 years' experience of the Medical Technologies Advisory Committee of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the United Kingdom, addressing this problem. This committee assesses devices and diagnostics against claims of advantage, to produce guidance on adoption for the health service.

Concepts: Health care, United Kingdom, Technology, Medical technology


Assessment of ethical aspects of a technology is an important component of health technology assessment (HTA). Nevertheless, how the implementation of ethical assessment in HTA is to be organized and adapted to specific regulatory and organizational settings remains unclear. The objective of this study is to present a framework for systematic identification of ethical aspects of health technologies. Furthermore, the process of developing and adapting the framework to a specific setting is described.

Concepts: Management, Technology, Specific Identification, Technology assessment


Objectives: The aim of this study was to describe 8-year results from post-implementation surveillance of neuroreflexotherapy (NRT), a health technology proven effective for treating neck and back pain. Methods: Post-implementation surveillance included all patients undergoing NRT across five regions within the Spanish National Health Service (SNHS). Validated methods were used to assess pain, disability, adverse events, use of health resources, and patient satisfaction. Logistic regression models were developed to identify the variables associated with the risk of a pain episode requiring more than one NRT intervention. The number of relapses among discharged patients during the 8-year period was calculated. Results: Between January 1, 2004, and June 30, 2012, 9,023 patients (median age: 53 years), presenting 11,384 subacute (25.2 percent) and chronic (74.8 percent), neck or back pain episodes, were discharged after receiving NRT. Spinal pain improved in 89 percent of cases, 83 percent abandoned drugs, and 0.02 percent required spine surgery. The only adverse event was skin discomfort (8.0 percent of patients). Number of patient complaints was 0, and answers to a standardized questionnaire reflected a high degree of satisfaction (response rate: 76.7 percent). Of the pain episodes, 18.9 percent required more than one NRT intervention; logistic regression models identified the variables associated with this. Over the 8-year period, the proportion of discharged patients referred for treatment due to relapse at the same level for neck, thoracic, and low back pain, was 16.4 percent, 6.5 percent, and 14.5 percent respectively. Conclusions: Post-marketing surveillance for a non-pharmacological technology is feasible within the SNHS. These results support generalizing NRT across the entire SNHS under the current validated application conditions.

Concepts: Health care provider, Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Medicine, Clinical trial, Spinal disc herniation, Low back pain, Illness


Objectives: The aim of this study was to systematically assess the long-term (≥ 6 months) benefits of epidural steroid injection therapies for patients with low back pain. Methods: We identified randomized controlled trials by database searches up to October 2011 and by additional hand searches without language restrictions. Randomized controlled trials on the effects of epidurals for low back pain with follow-up for at least 6 months were included. Outcomes considered were pain relief, functional improvement in 6 to 12 months after epidural steroid injection treatment and the number of patients who underwent subsequent surgery. Meta-analysis was performed using a random-effects model. Results: Twenty-nine articles were selected. The meta-analysis suggested that a significant treatment effect on pain was noted at 6 months of follow-up (weighted mean difference [WMD], -0.41; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], -0.66 to -0.16), but was no longer statistically significant after adjusting for the baseline pain score (WMD, -0.19; 95 percent CI, -0.61 to 0.24). Epidural steroid injection did not improve back-specific disability more than a placebo or other procedure. Epidural steroid injection did not significantly decrease the number of patients who underwent subsequent surgery compared with a placebo or other treatments (relative risk, 1.02; 95 percent CI, 0.83 to 1.24). Conclusions: A long-term benefit of epidural steroid injections for low back pain was not suggested at 6 months or longer. Introduction of selection bias in the majority of injection studies seems apparent. Baseline adjustment is essential when we evaluate pain as a main outcome of injection therapy.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Low back pain, Back pain, Statistics, Randomized controlled trial, Acupuncture, Effect size, Epidural


Early assessment can assist in allocating resources for innovation effectively and produce the most beneficial technology for an institution. The aim of the present study was to identify methods and discuss the analytical approaches applied for the early assessment of innovation in a healthcare setting.