Protocol for a systematic review of methods and cost-effectiveness findings of economic evaluations of obesity prevention and/or treatment interventions in children and adolescents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes


Background: Childhood obesity is a major global public health problem, with governments increasingly having to undertake various strategies to reduce excess weight in their populations. Considering the increasing number of well-conducted intervention studies in the field of childhood obesity prevention, there are relatively few published economic evaluations. The proposed systematic review will explore the methods of these economic evaluations, examine the limitations and establish the evidence base for cost-effectiveness analyses.
Methods/design: Systematic review methodology will be applied to identify, select and extract data from published economic evaluation studies (trial-based, non-trial based, simulation-based, decision model and trial based model economic evaluations) of obesity prevention and/or treatment interventions in children and adolescents. A systematic literature search will be conducted using bibliographic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science, EconLit, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) Registry). The review will only include full economic evaluations. There will be no restrictions based on language, perspective, follow-up duration, sample size, country or setting. To minimise selection bias, translation of non-English language articles will be undertaken. The quality of included studies will be assessed. Following data extraction, a narrative synthesis of the results from the included studies will be undertaken. Subgroup analysis will be considered where deemed appropriate.
Discussion: The findings from this review, which will include primary studies, will provide evidence to assist health policy decision makers interpret economic evaluations in this field. In addition we will identify gaps in the current literature to inform future related research.
Systematic review registration: Prospero CRD42017062236
Keywords: economic evaluation; obesity; children; adolescents; prevention; treatment; intervention


Original languageEnglish
Article number54
JournalBMC Systematic Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2018


  • economic evaluation, obesity, children, adolescents, prevention, treatment, intervention