Acknowledging Patient Heterogeneity in Economic Evaluations in Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness with heterogeneous etiology, range of symptoms, and course of illness. Cost-effectiveness analysis often applies averages from populations, which disregards patient heterogeneity even though there are a range of methods available to acknowledge patient heterogeneity. This review evaluates existing economic evaluations of interventions in schizophrenia to understand how patient heterogeneity is currently reflected in economic evaluation.

METHODS: Electronic searches of MEDLINE, Embase, and PsycINFO via Ovid and the Health Technology Assessment database were run to identify full economic evaluations of interventions aiming to reduce the symptoms associated with schizophrenia. Two levels of screening were used, and explicit inclusion criteria were applied. Prespecified data extraction and critical appraisal were performed.

RESULTS: Seventy-six relevant studies were identified. More than half (41 of 76) of the articles acknowledged patient heterogeneity in some way through discussion or methods. There was a range of patient characteristics considered, including demographics and socioeconomic factors (eg, age, educational level, ethnicity), clinical characteristics (eg, symptom severity, comorbidities), and preferences (eg, preferences related to outcomes or symptoms). Subgroup analyses were rarely reported (8 of 76).

CONCLUSIONS: Patient heterogeneity was frequently mentioned in studies but was rarely thoroughly investigated in the identified economic evaluations. When investigated, included patient characteristics and methods were found to be heterogeneous. Understanding and acknowledging patient heterogeneity may alter the conclusions of cost-effectiveness evaluations; subsequently, we would encourage further research in this area.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-156
Number of pages10
JournalValue in Health
Volume25
Issue number1
Early online date28 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022