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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


GONZALEZ, Nerea et al. Review of the utilization of the RAND appropriateness method in the biomedical literature (1999-2004). Gac Sanit [online]. 2009, vol.23, n.3, pp.232-237. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objectives: To identify and describe studies using the RAND/UCLA method to evaluate the appropriateness of health procedures. This method is a consensus technique that involves several phases to develop appropriateness criteria. Methods: We performed a literature search in 2005. OVIDMedline, ISI Web of Knowledge, IME and Highwire were consulted. Articles published between 1999 and 2004 and using the key words «appropriateness», «utilization review» and «physician practice patterns» were selected. Studies using the RAND method were included and those that did not explain the methodology in sufficient detail were excluded. Information on the procedure studied, the place and year of publication, and the characteristics of the journal were extracted from each article. Results and discussion: A total of 5092 articles were identified and 205 were selected. Slightly more than half analyzed surgical or medical procedures, while 16.5% evaluated healthcare quality. More than 50% were published in journals of public health, general medicine, and gastroenterology and hepatology. The mean impact factor was 4.07. A quarter (25.4%) of the articles was published in 1999. Conclusions and perspective: The RAND method is still widely used. Appropriateness criteria can be used to review utilization of procedures, to design guidelines, or to support for decision making. These tools should be reviewed to obtain evermore valid and reliable results.

Keywords : RAND method; Review; Appropriateness.

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