EBM, HTA, and CER: Clearing the Confusion

June 2010 | Bryan R. Luce, Michael Drummond, Bengt Jönsson, Peter J. Neumann, J. Sanford Schwartz, Uwe Siebert, Sean D. Sullivan

Context: The terms evidence-based medicine (EBM), health technology assessment (HTA), comparative effectiveness research (CER), and other related terms lack clarity and so could lead to miscommunication, confusion, and poor decision making. The objective of this article is to clarify their definitions and the relationships among key terms and concepts.
Methods: This article used the relevant methods and policy literature as well as the websites of organizations engaged in evidence-based activities to develop a framework to explain the relationships among the terms EBM, HTA, and CER.
Findings: This article proposes an organizing framework and presents a graphic demonstrating the differences and relationships among these terms and concepts.
Conclusions: More specific terminology and concepts are necessary for an informed and clear public policy debate. They are even more important to inform decision making at all levels and to engender more accountability by the organizations and individuals responsible for these decisions.

Author(s): Bryan R. Luce; Michael Drummond; Bengt Jönsson; Peter J. Neumann; J. Sanford Schwartz; Uwe Siebert; Sean D. Sullivan

Keywords: evidence; policy; decision making; evidence-based medicine; health technology assessment; comparative effectiveness research

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Volume 88, Issue 2 (pages 256–276)
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0009.2010.00598.x
Published in 2010