• Scholarly report

Comparative effectiveness review methods Clinical heterogeneity

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) commissioned the RTI International–University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (RTI-UNC) Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) to explore how systematic review groups have dealt with clinical heterogeneity and to seek out best practices for addressing clinical heterogeneity in systematic reviews (SRs) and comparative effectiveness reviews (CERs). Such best practices, to the extent they exist, may enable AHRQ’s EPCs to address critiques from patients, clinicians, policymakers, and other proponents of health care about the extent to which “average” estimates of the benefits and harms of health care interventions apply to individual patients or to small groups of patients sharing similar characteristics.


West, S., Gartlehner, G., Mansfield, A., Poole, C., Tant, E., Lenfestey, N., ... Lohr, K. (2010). Comparative effectiveness review methods: Clinical heterogeneity. (Methods Research Paper prepared for Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, AHRQ Publication No. 10-EHC070-EF). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International - University of North Carolina Evidence-based Practice Center.