Economic evaluation studies in reproductive medicine: A systematic review of methodologic quality

Lobke M. Moolenaar*, Sylvia M.C. Vijgen, Peter Hompes, Fulco Van Der Veen, Ben Willem J. Mol, Brent C. Opmeer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate the methodologic quality of economic analyses published in the field of reproductive medicine. Design: Systematic review. Setting: Centers for reproductive care. Patient(s): Infertility patients. Intervention(s): We performed a Medline search to identify economic evaluation studies in reproductive medicine. We included studies that concerned interventions, evaluated costs and effects, and were published in a journal on reproductive medicine, gynecology, or a major general journal from 1997 through May 2011. Main Outcome Measure(s): Number of quality criteria adhered to. Result(s): Our search revealed 5,519 articles, of which 85 met our inclusion criteria. Seventy-seven (91%) of the economic analyses were on treatment, six (7%) on diagnosis, and two (2%) on screening. The mean number of quality criteria adhered to was 20 out of 30 items, and only one article met all 30 criteria. The mean number of criteria adhered to was higher if at least one of the authors was from a methodologic or health economics department (mean 23 [n = 30] versus mean 20 [n = 55]). The most common limitations of published economic evaluation studies were in methodology or presentation of incremental analyses, sensitivity analyses, and discounting. Conclusion(s): Economic analyses published in the past 15 years in the field of reproductive medicine seldom adhere to all recommended methodologic standards. A large majority of these publications evaluated treatments rather than diagnostic interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1689-1694.e1
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • economic evaluation
  • methodologic quality
  • Reproductive medicine
  • review


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