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Value Health. 2010 Dec;13(8):867-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4733.2010.00788.x. Epub 2010 Oct 12.

Methods for the collection of resource use data within clinical trials: a systematic review of studies funded by the UK Health Technology Assessment program.

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Centre for Economics & Policy in Health, Institute of Medical and Social Care Research, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, UK.



The UK Health Technology Assessment (HTA) program funds trials that address issues of clinical and cost-effectiveness to meet the needs of the National Health Service (NHS). The objective of this review was to systematically assess the methods of resource use data collection and costing; and to produce a best practice guide for data capture within economic analyses alongside clinical trials.


All 100 HTA-funded primary research papers published to June 2009 were reviewed for the health economic methods employed. Data were extracted and summarized by: health technology assessed, costing perspective adopted, evidence of planning and piloting, data collection method, frequency of data collection, and sources of unit cost data.


Ninety-five studies were identified as having conducted an economic analysis, of which 85 recorded patient-level resource use. The review identified important differences in how data are collected. These included: a priori evidence of analysts having identified important cost drivers; the piloting and validation of patient-completed resource use questionnaires; choice of costing perspective; and frequency of data collection. Areas of commonality included: the extensive use of routine medical records and reliance on patient recall; and the use of standard sources of unit costs.


Economic data collection is variable, even among a homogeneous selection of trials designed to meet the needs of a common organization (NHS). Areas for improvement have been identified, and based on our findings and related reviews and guidelines, a checklist is proposed for good practice relating to economic data collection within clinical trials.

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