Technical Support Documents


Welcome to a series of Technical Support Documents (TSDs) produced by the NICE Decision Support Unit.

These documents have been commissioned by NICE with the aim of providing further information about how to implement the approaches described in the current NICE Guide to the Methods of Technology Appraisal (2008). The NICE Methods Guide does not itself provide detailed advice on how to implement and apply the methods it describes. This DSU series of Technical Support Documents is intended to help to fill that gap.

The TSDs provide a review of the current state of the art in each topic area, and make clear recommendations on the implementation of methods and reporting standards where it is appropriate to do so. They aim to provide assistance to all those involved in submitting or critiquing evidence as part of NICE Technology Appraisals, whether manufacturers, assessment groups or any other stakeholder type.

We recognise that there are areas of uncertainty and rapid development. It is our intention that such areas are indicated in the TSDs. All TSDs are extensively peer reviewed prior to publication (the names of peer reviewers appear in the acknowledgements for each document). Nevertheless, the responsibility for each TSD lies with the authors and we welcome any constructive feedback on the content or suggestions for further guides (please contact the DSU Project Manager, Jenny Dunn). The topics that have been selected for the first TSDs are those where we found widespread agreement that such guidance would be beneficial to the NICE appraisals process. Further topics will be added, and the existing guides updated, as the state of the art develops and as NICE’s own Methods Guide evolves.

Please be aware that whilst the production of these documents was funded by NICE through its Decision Support Unit, the views, and any errors or omissions, expressed in these documents are of the author only. NICE may take account of part or all of these documents if it considers it appropriate, but it is not bound to do so.

Dr Allan Wailoo
Director of DSU and TSD series editor

Meindert Boysen
Programme Director, Technology Appraisals at NICE

April, 2011