Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS)—explanation and elaboration: A report of the ISPOR Health Economic Evaluation Publication Guidelines Good Reporting Practices Task Force
Economic evaluations of health interventions pose a particular challenge for reporting because substantial information must be conveyed to allow scrutiny of study findings. Despite a growth in published reports, existing reporting guidelines are not widely adopted. There is also a need to consolidate and update existing guidelines and promote their use in a user-friendly manner. A checklist is one way to help authors, editors, and peer reviewers use guidelines to improve reporting.
The task force’s overall goal was to provide recommendations to optimize the reporting of health economic evaluations. The Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS) statement is an attempt to consolidate and update previous health economic evaluation guidelines into one current, useful reporting guidance. The CHEERS Elaboration and Explanation Report of the ISPOR Health Economic Evaluation Publication Guidelines Good Reporting Practices Task Force facilitates the use of the CHEERS statement by providing examples and explanations for each recommendation. The primary audiences for the CHEERS statement are researchers reporting economic evaluations and the editors and peer reviewers assessing them for publication.
The need for new reporting guidance was identified by a survey of medical editors. Previously published checklists or guidance documents related to reporting economic evaluations were identified from a systematic review and subsequent survey of task force members. A list of possible items from these efforts was created. A two-round, modified Delphi Panel with representatives from academia, clinical practice, industry, and government, as well as the editorial community, was used to identify a minimum set of items important for reporting from the larger list.
Out of 44 candidate items, 24 items and accompanying recommendations were developed, with some specific recommendations for single study–based and model-based economic evaluations. The final recommendations are subdivided into six main categories: 1) title and abstract, 2) introduction, 3) methods, 4) results, 5) discussion, and 6) other. The recommendations are contained in the CHEERS statement, a user-friendly 24-item checklist. The task force report provides explanation and elaboration, as well as an example for each recommendation. The ISPOR CHEERS statement is available online via Value in Health or the ISPOR Health Economic Evaluation Publication Guidelines Good Reporting Practices – CHEERS Task Force webpage (http://www.ispor.org/TaskForces/EconomicPubGuidelines.asp).
We hope that the ISPOR CHEERS statement and the accompanying task force report guidance will lead to more consistent and transparent reporting, and ultimately, better health decisions. To facilitate wider dissemination and uptake of this guidance, we are copublishing the CHEERS statement across 10 health economics and medical journals. We encourage other journals and groups to consider endorsing the CHEERS statement. The author team plans to review the checklist for an update in 5 years.