Using health technology assessment to identify gaps in evidence and inform study design for comparative effectiveness research

Sean R. Tunis, Charles Turkelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Health technology assessment (HTA) is primarily used as a tool to ensure that clinical and policy decisions are made with the benefit of a systematic analysis of all completed research. This article describes the progress and potential for HTA reports to improve the quality and relevance of future research and to better serve the information needs of patients, clinicians, payers, and other decision makers. We conducted a review of the current published literature and working papers describing past, ongoing, and future initiatives that rely on HTA reports to identify gaps in evidence and improve the design of future research. Although still in a developmental stage, significant progress is under way to improve methods for using HTA reports for the systematic identification of research gaps, prioritization of future research, and improvement of study designs. Several well-defined frameworks have been developed to assist those who produce HTA to become more effective in these additional domains of work. A recurring element of this work is the importance of meaningfully involving stakeholders in the process of defining future research needs and designing studies to address them. Patients, clinicians, and payers are important audiences for completed research and are now recognized as serving an important role in determining what future research is needed. There are substantial opportunities to improve the quality, relevance, and efficiency of clinical research. Recent efforts are beginning to demonstrate the potential to build on the work invested in developing HTA reports to provide a roadmap toward these objectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4256-4261
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number34
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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