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Open Access Commentary

Cost-effectiveness analysis for clinicians

Suzanne R Hill

Author Affiliations

World Health Organization, 20 Ave Appia, Geneva 27, Switzerland

BMC Medicine 2012, 10:10  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-10

Published: 1 February 2012

Abstract

In a climate of economic uncertainty, cost effectiveness analysis is a potentially important tool for making choices about health care interventions. Methods for such analyses are well established, but the results need to be interpreted carefully and are subject to bias. Making decisions based on results of cost-effectiveness analyses can involve setting thresholds, but for individual patients, there needs to be disaggregation of benefits and harms included in a quality adjusted life year to ensure appropriate consideration of benefits and harms as well as personal preferences and circumstances.