Home About Journal AHEAD OF PRINT Current Issue Back Issues Instructions Submission Search Subscribe Blog    

Users Online: 2891 
Print this page  Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size 
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 126-136

Users' guide to the orthopaedic literature: What is a cost-effectiveness analysis?

1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Greenville Hospital System, Greenville, South Carolina, USA
2 Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Sheila Sprague
Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, 293 Wellington Street North, Suite 110, Hamilton, Ontario, L8L 8E7
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.40247

Rights and Permissions

As the cost of healthcare continue to rise, orthopaedic surgeons are being pressured to practice cost-effective healthcare. Consequently, economic evaluation of treatment options are being reported more commonly in medical and surgical literature. As new orthopaedic procedures and treatments may improve patient outcome and function over traditional treatment options, the effect of the potentially higher costs of new treatments should be formally evaluated. Unfortunately, the resources available for healthcare spending are typically limited. Therefore, cost-effectiveness analyses have become an important and useful tool in informing which procedure or treatment to implement into practice. Cost-effectiveness analysis is a type of economic analysis that compares both the clinical outcomes and the costs of new treatment options to current treatment options or standards of care. For a clinician to be able to apply the results of a cost-effectiveness analysis to their practice, they must be able to critically review the available literature. Conducting an economic analysis is a challenging process, which has resulted in a number of published economic analyses that are of lower quality and may be fraught with bias. It is important that the reader of an economic analysis or cost-effectiveness analysis have the skills required to properly evaluate and critically appraise the methodology used before applying the recommendations to their practice. Using the principles of evidence-based medicine and the questions outlined in the Journal of the American Medical Association's Users' Guide to the Medical Literature, this article attempts to illustrate how to critically appraise a cost-effectiveness analysis in the orthopaedic surgery literature.

Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded282    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 1    

Recommend this journal