Adherence to the iDSI reference case among published cost-per-DALY averted studies

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Emerson, Joanna
Panzer, Ari
Cohen, Joshua T
Chalkidou, Kalipso
Teerawattananon, Yot
Sculpher, Mark
Wilkinson, Thomas
Walker, Damian
Neumann, Peter J
Kim, David D
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Background: The iDSI reference case, originally published in 2014, aims to improve the quality and comparability of cost-effectiveness analyses (CEA). This study assesses whether the development of the guideline is associated with an improvement in methodological and reporting practices for CEAs using disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). Methods: We analyzed the Tufts Medical Center Global Health CEA Registry to identify cost-per-DALY averted studies published from 2011 to 2017. Among each of 11 principles in the iDSI reference case, we translated all methodological specifications and reporting standards into a series of binary questions (satisfied or not satisfied) and awarded articles one point for each item satisfied. We then calculated methodological and reporting adherence scores separately as a percentage of total possible points, measured as normalized adherence score (0% = no adherence; 100% = full adherence). Using the year 2014 as the dissemination period, we conducted a pre-post analysis. We also conducted sensitivity analyses using: 1) optional criteria in scoring, 2) alternate dissemination period (2014-2015), and 3) alternative comparator classification. Results: Articles averaged 60% adherence to methodological specifications and 74% adherence to reporting standards. While methodological adherence scores did not significantly improve (59% pre-2014 vs. 60% post-2014, p = 0.53), reporting adherence scores increased slightly over time (72% pre-2014 vs. 75% post-2014, p<0.01). Overall, reporting adherence scores exceeded methodological adherence scores (74% vs. 60%, p<0.001). Articles seldom addressed budget impact (9% reporting, 10% methodological) or equity (7% reporting, 7% methodological). Conclusions: The iDSI reference case has substantial potential to serve as a useful resource for researchers and policy-makers in global health settings, but greater effort to promote adherence and awareness is needed to achieve its potential.

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© 2019 Emerson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Emerson, J; Panzer, A; Cohen, JT; Chalkidou, K; Teerawattananon, Y; Sculpher, M; Wilkinson, T; Walker, D; Neumann, PJ; Kim, DD, Adherence to the iDSI reference case among published cost-per-DALY averted studies, PLoS One, 2019, 14 (5)