The main objective of this review was to evaluate the methodological design in studies reporting resource use and costs related to robotic surgery in gynecology.
Systematic searches were performed in the databases PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and The Centre for Reviews and Dissemination database for relevant studies before May 2016. The quality of the methodological design was assessed with items regarding methodology from the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS). The systematic review was reported according to the PRISMA guidelines.
Thirty-two relevant studies were included. None of the reviewed studied fully complied with the CHEERS methodological checklist. Background and objectives, Target population and subgroups and Setting and location were covered in sufficient details in all studies whereas the Study perspective, Justification of the time horizon, Discount rate, and Estimating resources and costs were covered in less than 50%. Most of the studies (29/32) used the health care sector perspective whereas the societal perspective was applied in three studies. The time horizon was stated in 18/32 of the studies.
The methodological quality of studies evaluating costs of robotic surgery was low. The longest follow-up was 4 months and in general, the use of detailed cost data were lacking in most of the investigations. Key determinants, such as purchasing, maintenance costs of the robotic platform, and the use of surgical equipment, were rarely reported. If health care cost analyses lack transparency regarding cost drivers included it may not provide a true foundation for decision-making.