Handbooks and guides

Center for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD)

CRD’s Systematic Reviews guidance aims at promoting high quality standards. In its revised version, it includes guidance for evaluating clinical tests, qualitative research and health economics in the context of effectiveness reviews. It describes both the planning stage (need for reviews, establishing a review team) as well as the development of a review protocol, search and selection of resources, quality assessment, data extraction and data synthesis, reporting and dissemination. The appendix includes forms for data extraction and quality assessment.

Language: English

Link to the CRD guidance

The Cochrane Collaboration

The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions is among the most comprehensive handbooks of HTA methods. It focuses on systematic reviews of the effects of interventions, and in particular randomised clinical trials. A number of chapters also deal with other types of evidence, however, e.g., cases where randomised trials may not be possible or appropriate in consideration of safety or adverse effects. Systematic guidance for the conduct of test accuracy reviews is provided in a separate document: the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy.

The Handbook consists of three parts:

Part 1 introduces Cochrane reviews (planning, preparation, maintenance, updating, contents of a Cochrane review or protocol);

Part 2 provides general methodological guidance (question development, eligibility criteria, searching, collecting data, within-study bias, analysing data, reporting bias, presenting and interpreting results);

Part 3 addresses special topics that may also be relevant (adverse effects, meta-analysis with non-standard study designs, using individual patient data).

Language: English

Link to the Cochrane Handbook

Danish Centre for Health Technology Assessment (DACEHTA)

The DACEHTA website includes a handbook on HTA reports and mini HTA. The methods and procedures for search and reporting are described in detail.

Language: English

Link to the DACEHTA handbooks

German Institute of Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI)

In addition to the HTA handbook for authors, DIMDI’s website also includes links to a number of other HTA sources. The HTA handbook for authors explains the content and structure of HTA reports and shows the process steps for drawing up HTA reports.

Language: German

Link to the handbook for authors

European network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA)

In the context of the EUnetHTA Project, an HTA core model was developed in cooperation with international experts. The core model builds on earlier work of the ECHTA/ECAHI Working Group and attempts to specify it further. The first public drafts of the Core Model for diagnostic technologies and the Core Model for medical and surgical interventions as well as two HTA reports drawn up on the basis of the Core Model are currently being discussed by an expert audience.

Link to the HTA Core Model Handbook

Language: English

Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG)

The "Methods Manual for Health Technology Assessment" on behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health is a joint project of GÖG (coordination) and other national HTA providers (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Health Technology Assessment, Danube University Krems, UMIT, Grazer EBM Center). The aim is to standardize the methodological approach for HTA production.  The methodological manual is regularly updated and expanded. The current version 1.2012 was published in June 2012 and has been extended to the areas of economics, modeling, meta-analysis and health services research. It is available as a PDF download.

Language: German

Link to the GÖG methods manual 

Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG)

IQWiG’s handbook provides information on the scientific methods that form the basis of the Institute’s work, as well as tools and instruments that IQWiG staff have developed and made available to other experts. In order to keep abreast of new requirements and developments in research and health care, IQWiG’s methods are revised and updated annually.

Language: German

Link to the IQWiG handbook

Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Health Technology Assessment (LBI-HTA)

The internal manual used by LBI-HTA provides guidance for standardised, methodologically valid procedures after themes and priorities have been defined. It has one chapter on systematic overviews and another one on quick assessments. The annex includes forms for quality assessment of sources and for describing potential conflicting interests of authors. The manual also includes a glossary for the classification of studies.

Language: German

Link to the LBI manual

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)

The Guide to the Methods of Technology Appraisal provides an overview of the principles and methods of health technology assessment and appraisal within the context of the NICE appraisal process. The process of HTA reporting is only mentioned in passing. However, the methods described as well as the additional list of references including briefings may be used as a methodological background.

Language: English

Link to the NICE guide