Deliberative processes for health technology assessment (HTA) are intended to facilitate participatory decision making, using discussion and open dialogue between stakeholders. Increasing attention is being given to deliberative processes, but guidance is lacking for those who wish to design or use them. Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) and ISPOR—The Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research initiated a joint Task Force to address this gap.
The joint Task Force consisted of fifteen members with different backgrounds, perspectives, and expertise relevant to the field. It developed guidance and a checklist for deliberative processes for HTA. The guidance builds upon the few, existing initiatives in the field, as well as input from the HTA community following an established consultation plan. In addition, the guidance was subject to two rounds of peer review.
A deliberative process for HTA consists of procedures, activities, and events that support the informed and critical examination of an issue and the weighing of arguments and evidence to guide a subsequent decision. Guidance and an accompanying checklist are provided for (i) developing the governance and structure of an HTA program and (ii) informing how the various stages of an HTA process might be managed using deliberation.
The guidance and the checklist contain a series of questions, grouped by six phases of a model deliberative process. They are offered as practical tools for those wishing to establish or improve deliberative processes for HTA that are fit for local contexts. The tools can also be used for independent scrutiny of deliberative processes.