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Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica

Print version ISSN 1726-4634


BOLANOS-DIAZ, Rafael; MEZONES-HOLGUIN, Edward; GUTIERREZ-AGUADO, Alfonso  and  MALAGA, Germán. Synthesis studies as the basis for economic evaluations in health: the need for their quality appraisal. Rev. perú. med. exp. salud publica [online]. 2011, vol.28, n.3, pp.528-534. ISSN 1726-4634.

Synthesis studies (SS): systematic review and meta-analysis are the basis for developing Health Economic Evaluations (HEE). SS allow us to obtain parameters for estimating probabilities and effectiveness from the combination of the results of primary studies, and, as they include in their methodology the selection, evaluation, systematization and synthesis processes, they are considered the first level of hierarchy in scientific evidence. Nevertheless, they can be prone to bias and methodological failures that can affect the validity of their results. This article initially presents the relevance of the randomization in the hierarchic classification of research designs, then it reviews the main factors affecting the validity of the SS, emphasising the publication bias, the heterogeneity and the inclusion of primary studies with main objective differing from the one of the SS. Moreover, it presents individual studies like a valid alternative for the development of a SS. The conclusion is that one of the key aspects in a SS is the correct evaluation of the study types and the objective evaluation of their quality, being these primary or secondary.

Keywords : Reviews, Meta-analysis as topic; Evidence-based practice; Health Research research evaluation, Health economics.

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