State of the ART? Two New Tools for Risk Communication in Health Technology Assessments

SE Grimm*, X Pouwels, BLT Ramaekers, B Wijnen, T Otten, Janneke P.C. Grutters, MA Joore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Outcomes of health technology assessments (HTA) are uncertain, and decision-making is associated with a risk. This risk, consisting of the probability of making a wrong decision and its impact, is rarely considered in HTA. This hampers transparent and consistent risk assessment and management. The aim of this study was to develop risk communication tools in the context of health technology decision-making under uncertainty. Methods: We performed a scoping review of tools for uncertainty and risk communication within HTA using citation pearl-growing. We developed two tools, drawing on existing publications on risk and uncertainty communication for inspiration. Individual semi-structured interviews with HTA stakeholders were performed to identify potential improvements in usefulness, user-friendliness, and information adequacy. Tools were amended and further evaluated in a real-world HTA and workshop with HTA stakeholders. Results: The identified risk communication tools did not include non-quantified uncertainties, and did not link to risk management strategies. We developed two tools: the Assessment of Risk Table (ART), for a summary of quantified and non-quantified uncertainties and the resulting risk assessment, and the Appraisal of Risk Chart (ARCH), for linking net benefit and risk outcomes to appropriate risk management strategies. Stakeholders appreciated the usefulness of the tools. They also highlighted that more information on local policy options was required for optimal risk management use, and HTA processes may need adapting. Conclusion: The risk communication tools presented here can help assess risk, facilitate communication between analysts and decision-makers, and guide the appropriate use of available risk management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1185-1196
Number of pages12
Issue number10
Early online date19 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


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