CHTE2020 qualitative evidence

This report summarises methodological developments in the use of qualitative evidence (2012-2020), updating and overlapping with the previous edition of the NICE Guide to the Methods of Technology Appraisal (PMG 9).


The report begins by examining and critiquing existing use of qualitative evidence, in PMG9 and other relevant NICE Methods Guides.

Relevant literature was identified through the specialist register of the Cochrane Qualitative and Implementation Methods Group, through citation searches of key methodology items, grey literature searches of health technology assessment agency and guideline production organisation websites and review of current awareness updates.

DSU report

A methodological update on the use of qualitative evidence in health technology assessment (PDF, 1.6MB) (April 2020)

The report identifies four meta-themes that have shaped developments in qualitative evidence since previous NICE guidance (2013):

  • Increased interest in complex interventions.
  • Greater appreciation for the integration of diverse quantitative and qualitative evidence.
  • Recognition of the role of theory in understanding how interventions work.
  • Awareness of the differential effects of context.

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