Health problem and current use of the technology

Last revised: 


This domain describes the target conditions, target groups, epidemiology and the availability and pattern of use of the technology. The burden (both on individuals and on the society) caused by the health problem, the alternatives to the technology in question, the regulatory status of the technology and the requirements for its use are included. This domain overlaps with the effectiveness and costs domains (e.g. issues of consequences and alternative interventions), organizational domain (e.g. utilisation issues), description and the technical characteristics domain (e.g. lice-cycle), social domain (coverage and access issues), legal and ethical domains as well as safety domain (e.g. overdiagnosis, false positive and false negative test results). (1)

Sources to search

  • Review articles and textbooks can be helpful for finding information about the history and characteristics of established technology.
  • Health sciences databases (e.g. MEDLINE, Embase, The Cochrane Library, CRD databases, Cinahl, BIOSIS, PsycInfo)
  • Social sciences databases (e.g. Sociological Abstracts, Social Care Online, ASSIA)
  • General science publishers' databases (e.g. ScienceDirect, Ebsco Academic Search Elite, PubMed Central, BioMed Central)
  • Other databases (e.g. ERIC, Joanna Briggs Institute, WHO, OECD)
  • Ongoing research databases (e.g., EunetHTA POP Database, Prospero)
  • Horizon scanning databases (e.g. Euroscan)
  • Grey literature (e.g. OAIster, Dissertation Abstracts)
  • Registers and statistics (e.g. disease registers, national screening registers, pharmaceutical registers, routinely collected statistics and administrative data)
  • Websites (e.g. patient associations, manufacturers, regulatory institutions)
  • Other sources (e.g. market research reports, industry, expert opinions, national and regional guidelines, norms and regulations)

Designing search strategies

Principles of systematic review methodology should be followed. The use of sensitive search strategies is recommended. The most appropriate study design can vary and so a general recommendation cannot be made  about the specific study design that should be employed to limit the search. (2,3)

Reference list