Appraisal of: Droste S, Rixen S. [Information on legal issues in health technologies: methodological proposal to identify them in a systematic and comprehensible manner]. Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes 2012;106:509-522.

Reviewer(s): 
Short description: 

The aim of this study was to develop a methodological approach for systematic retrieval of information on legal issues associated with health technologies, and to present this proposal in detail. In the absence of existing relevant methodological approaches verified by an extensive literature search, the authors developed an information retrieval procedure consisting of the following 8 work steps:

1. Pre-search: identification of the relevant rules, regulations and patient-related legal issues
2. Translation of the search question (using adapted PICO scheme)
3. Concept building
4. Identification of synonyms
5. Selection of relevant information sources
6. Design of the search strategies
7. Execution and quality check
8. Saving the results and reporting.

This procedure was applied on three examples. One of them, "Ultrasound screening in pregnancy", was used in this article to illustrate the proposed work steps in detail. Since there is a substantial overlap between legal, ethical and social issues of health technologies, the authors point out the potential benefit of joint information retrieval processes for these three aspects. This publication is in German. Abstract is provided in English.

Limitations stated by the author(s): 
The developed procedure was applied on three specific research questions. The example on ‘‘Ultrasound screening in pregnancy’’ was reported in detail. The authors discussed the representative value of this presented example and the need for further evaluation of the external validity of the proposed procedure.
Limitations stated by the reviewer(s): 
No additional limitations detected by the reviewer.
Study Type: 
Single study
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