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Cost-effectiveness of surgery and its policy implications for global health: a systematic review and analysis

Chao, Tiffany E.; Sharma, Ketan; Mandigo, Morgan; Hagander, Lars LU ; Resch, Stephen C.; Weiser, Thomas G. and Meara, John G. (2014) In The Lancet Global Health 2(6). p.334-345
Abstract
Background The perception of surgery as expensive and complex might be a barrier to its widespread acceptance in global health efforts. We did a systematic review and analysis of cost-effectiveness studies that assess surgical interventions in low-income and middle-income countries to help quantify the potential value of surgery. Methods We searched Medline for all relevant articles published between Jan 1, 1996 and Jan 31, 2013, and searched the reference lists of retrieved articles. We converted all results to 2012 US$. We extracted cost-effectiveness ratios (CERs) and appraised economic assessments for their methodological quality using the 10-point Drummond checklist. Findings Of the 584 identified studies, 26 met full inclusion... (More)
Background The perception of surgery as expensive and complex might be a barrier to its widespread acceptance in global health efforts. We did a systematic review and analysis of cost-effectiveness studies that assess surgical interventions in low-income and middle-income countries to help quantify the potential value of surgery. Methods We searched Medline for all relevant articles published between Jan 1, 1996 and Jan 31, 2013, and searched the reference lists of retrieved articles. We converted all results to 2012 US$. We extracted cost-effectiveness ratios (CERs) and appraised economic assessments for their methodological quality using the 10-point Drummond checklist. Findings Of the 584 identified studies, 26 met full inclusion criteria. Together, these studies gave 121 independent CERs in seven categories of surgical interventions. The median CER of circumcision ($13.78 per disability-adjusted life year [DALY]) was similar to that of standard vaccinations ($12.96-25.93 per DALY) and bednets for malaria prevention ($6.48-22.04 per DALY). Median CERs of cleft lip or palate repair ($47.74 per DALY), general surgery ($82.32 per DALY), hydrocephalus surgery ($108.74 per DALY), and ophthalmic surgery ($136 per DALY) were similar to that of the BCG vaccine ($51.86-220.39 per DALY). Median CERs of caesarean sections ($315.12 per DALY) and orthopaedic surgery ($381.15 per DALY) are more favourable than those of medical treatment for ischaemic heart disease ($500.41-706.54 per DALY) and HIV treatment with multidrug antiretroviral therapy ($453.74-648.20 per DALY). Interpretation Our findings suggest that many essential surgical interventions are cost-effective or very cost-effective in resource-poor countries. Quantification of the economic value of surgery provides a strong argument for the expansion of global surgery's role in the global health movement. However, economic value should not be the only argument for resource allocation-other organisational, ethical, and political arguments can also be made for its inclusion. Funding Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Surgery, Boston Children's Hospital, and Stanford University Department of Surgery. Copyright (C) Chao et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY. (Less)
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organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
The Lancet Global Health
volume
2
issue
6
pages
334 - 345
publisher
Lancet Ltd
external identifiers
  • wos:000336425200017
  • pmid:25103302
  • scopus:84901236119
ISSN
2214-109X
DOI
10.1016/S2214-109X(14)70213-X
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
99a580fd-e0df-41a0-91aa-d2c2a1922676 (old id 4552618)
date added to LUP
2014-08-01 07:39:44
date last changed
2017-11-12 03:34:07
@article{99a580fd-e0df-41a0-91aa-d2c2a1922676,
  abstract     = {Background The perception of surgery as expensive and complex might be a barrier to its widespread acceptance in global health efforts. We did a systematic review and analysis of cost-effectiveness studies that assess surgical interventions in low-income and middle-income countries to help quantify the potential value of surgery. Methods We searched Medline for all relevant articles published between Jan 1, 1996 and Jan 31, 2013, and searched the reference lists of retrieved articles. We converted all results to 2012 US$. We extracted cost-effectiveness ratios (CERs) and appraised economic assessments for their methodological quality using the 10-point Drummond checklist. Findings Of the 584 identified studies, 26 met full inclusion criteria. Together, these studies gave 121 independent CERs in seven categories of surgical interventions. The median CER of circumcision ($13.78 per disability-adjusted life year [DALY]) was similar to that of standard vaccinations ($12.96-25.93 per DALY) and bednets for malaria prevention ($6.48-22.04 per DALY). Median CERs of cleft lip or palate repair ($47.74 per DALY), general surgery ($82.32 per DALY), hydrocephalus surgery ($108.74 per DALY), and ophthalmic surgery ($136 per DALY) were similar to that of the BCG vaccine ($51.86-220.39 per DALY). Median CERs of caesarean sections ($315.12 per DALY) and orthopaedic surgery ($381.15 per DALY) are more favourable than those of medical treatment for ischaemic heart disease ($500.41-706.54 per DALY) and HIV treatment with multidrug antiretroviral therapy ($453.74-648.20 per DALY). Interpretation Our findings suggest that many essential surgical interventions are cost-effective or very cost-effective in resource-poor countries. Quantification of the economic value of surgery provides a strong argument for the expansion of global surgery's role in the global health movement. However, economic value should not be the only argument for resource allocation-other organisational, ethical, and political arguments can also be made for its inclusion. Funding Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Surgery, Boston Children's Hospital, and Stanford University Department of Surgery. Copyright (C) Chao et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY.},
  author       = {Chao, Tiffany E. and Sharma, Ketan and Mandigo, Morgan and Hagander, Lars and Resch, Stephen C. and Weiser, Thomas G. and Meara, John G.},
  issn         = {2214-109X},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {334--345},
  publisher    = {Lancet Ltd},
  series       = {The Lancet Global Health},
  title        = {Cost-effectiveness of surgery and its policy implications for global health: a systematic review and analysis},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(14)70213-X},
  volume       = {2},
  year         = {2014},
}