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Economic Analysis
Appraisal Guide

Using an Article on Economic Analysis

3 Types of cost-analysis:

1. Cost-Benefit Analysis compares the strategies' cost with benefits in monetary terms.

2. Cost-Effectiveness Analysis compares the strategies' cost with their effects in clinical units (e.g. cost per life years gained)

3. Cost-Utility Analysis is a type of cost-effectiveness analysis in which outcomes are measured in terms of social value (rg. cost per quality-adjusted life years or QALY)

Questions to Ask Yourself

Are the results valid?

1. Did the analysis provide a full economic comparison of health care strategies?

arrowCosts and outcomes for each strategy?
arrowWhose viewpoint?
arrowCost-effectiveness/benefit/utility study?


2.Were the costs and outcomes properly measured and valued?

arrowClinical effectiveness established?
arrowCosts measured accurately?
arrowData on costs and outcomes appropriately integrated?


3.Was appropriate allowance made for uncertainties in the analysis?

arrowSensitivity analysis?
arrowStatistical significance?


4. Are estimates of costs and outcomes related to the baseline risk in the treatment population?

arrowSub-group analyses by risk?


What are the results?

1.What were the incremental costs and outcomes of each strategy?

2. Do incremental costs and outcomes differ between sub-groups?

3. How much does allowance for uncertainty change the results?

4. Did the study have a sufficiently large sample size?

Vanderbilt- Power and Sample Size Calculator


Will the results help me in patient care?

1.Are the treatment benefits worth the harms and costs?

arrowStrong dominance?
arrowWeak dominance?
arrow Non-dominance?
arrowIncremental cost-effectiveness?


2. Could my patients expect similar health outcomes?

arrowStudy patients similar to my patients?
arrowStudy clinical management similar to my local practice?


3. Could I expect similar costs?

arrowStudy/local resource consumption similar?
arrowStudy/local prices similar?