Appraisal of: Papaioannou D, Brazier J, Paisley S. Systematic searching and selection of health state utility values from the literature. Value Health 2013;16(4):686-695.

Short description: 
Health state utility values (HSUVs) are used in populating decision-analytic models in health technology assessments. This article presented guidance on how to systematically search the published literature for HSUVs to ensure the use of unbiased HSUV data within cost-effectiveness analyses. Issues in defining the scope of the review were first examined. The authors then presented an extensive list of relevant search terms (including MeSH terms) that can be used in HSUV searches. Also covered were which electronic databases to search, as well as the use of supplementary search techniques, including reference list checking and contact with experts. The article concluded by discussing how to review and select studies that contain HSUV data, how to assess the quality of included studies, and how to perform HSUV data extraction.
Limitations stated by the author(s): 
None stated.
Limitations stated by the reviewer(s): 
The authors used an osteoporosis case study to demonstrate their methods. These approaches may not be generalizable to other health states. The authors acknowledged issues in using sensitive vs. precise search strategies in electronic databases for HSUV data, but they didn’t explicitly state search techniques for adapting a sensitive search into a precise one. Also, the search filter presented in the supplemental materials has not been validated.
Study Type: 
Single study
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