Cost-of-Illness Studies in the United States: A Systematic Review of Methodologies Used for Direct Cost
ABSTRACT We undertake a systematic review to examine the methods used by researchers in developing cost-of-illness (COI) studies. This review aims to categorize the approaches that the published literature uses in terms of perspective, scope, components of care analyzed in the literature, data sets, and valuation approaches used for direct cost. It draws conclusions regarding the adequacy of current COI research methods and makes recommendations on improving them.
The online bibliographic information service HealthSTAR (which incorporates MEDLINE) was used to search for COI studies in the research literature published during the period from 2000 to 2004. The search strategy used the term "cost of illness" as a MeSH (medical subject heading) term.
The HealthSTAR literature search identified references to 650 articles. Review of abstracts resulted in the identification of 170 of these for a more detailed review. This process identified 52 articles that met all criteria of COI studies. We identified 218 components of care analyzed across the 52 articles. Private-insurance or employer-claims data sets comprised the largest source of utilization and cost information among the studies.
Analyzing cost of illness presents useful opportunities for communicating with the public and policymakers on the relative importance of specific diseases and injuries. Our research, however, indicates that COI studies employ varied approaches and many articles have methodological limitations. Without well-accepted standards to guide researchers in their execution of these studies, policymakers and the general public must be wary of the methods used in their calculation and subsequent results.
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ABSTRACT: Liver diseases are one of the main causes of death, and their ever-increasing prevalence is threatening to cause significant damage both to individuals and society as a whole. This damage is especially serious for the economically active population in Korea. From the societal perspective, it is therefore necessary to consider the economic impacts associated with liver diseases, and identify interventions that can reduce the burden of these diseases. The cost-of-illness study is considered to be an essential evaluation technique in health care. By measuring and comparing the economic burdens of diseases to society, such studies can help health-care decision-makers to set up and prioritize health-care policies and interventions. Using economic theories, this paper introduces various study methods that are generally applicable to most disease cases for estimating the costs of illness associated with mortality, morbidity, disability, and other disease characteristics. It also presents concepts and scopes of costs along with different cost categories from different research perspectives in cost estimations. By discussing the epidemiological and economic grounds of the cost-of-illness study, the reported results represent useful information about several evaluation techniques at an advanced level, such as cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, and cost-utility analysis.12/2014; 20(4):327-337. DOI:10.3350/cmh.2014.20.4.327
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