Objectives: General frameworks for conducting and reporting health economic evaluations are available but not specific enough to cover the intricacies of the evaluation of diagnostic tests and biomarkers. Such evaluations are typically complex and model-based because tests primarily affect health outcomes indirectly and real-world data on health outcomes are often lacking. Moreover, not all aspects relevant to the evaluation of a diagnostic test may be known and explicitly considered for inclusion in the evaluation, leading to a loss of transparency and replicability. To address this challenge, this study aims to develop a comprehensive reporting checklist.
Methods: This study consisted of 3 main steps: 1) the development of an initial checklist based on a scoping review, 2) review and critical appraisal of the initial checklist by 4 independent experts, and 3) development of a final checklist. Each item from the checklist is illustrated using an example from previous research.
Results: The scoping review followed by critical review by the 4 experts resulted in a checklist containing 44 items, which ideally should be considered for inclusion in a model-based health economic evaluation. The extent to which these items were included or discussed in the studies identified in the scoping review varied substantially, with 14 items not being mentioned in ≥47 (75%) of the included studies.
Conclusions: The reporting checklist developed in this study may contribute to improved transparency and completeness of model-based health economic evaluations of diagnostic tests and biomarkers. Use of this checklist is therefore encouraged to enhance the interpretation, comparability, and—indirectly—the validity of the results of such evaluations.
- Diagnostic test
- Health economic evaluation