A cost-utility analysis of therapy for amblyopia

Ophthalmology. 2002 Dec;109(12):2265-71. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(02)01286-1.


Objective: Evaluation of the incremental cost-effectiveness of therapy for amblyopia.

Design: Cost-utility reference-case analysis.

Methods: A cost-utility analysis was performed from a third-party insurer perspective by using decision analysis, evidence-based data from the literature, and patient preference-based time trade-off utility values.

Database: Patient-derived time trade-off ocular utility values and the American Academy of Ophthalmology Preferred Practice Pattern guidelines for the treatment of amblyopia.

Intervention: Treatment of childhood amblyopia using medical and surgical therapies per the American Academy of Ophthalmology Preferred Practice Pattern.

Main outcome measure: Dollars (year 2001 nominal U.S. dollars) expended per quality-adjusted life-year ($/QALY) gained.

Results: Treatment for amblyopia resulted in a $/QALY gained of $2281 with a discount rate of 3% for costs and outcomes. Sensitivity analysis, varying costs and utility values by 10%, resulted in a $/QALY gained range from $2053 to $2509.

Conclusions: When compared with other interventions in health care, therapy for amblyopia seems to be highly cost-effective. This information is increasingly important for health care policy makers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amblyopia / economics*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Services Research / methods*
  • Humans
  • Models, Economic
  • Quality of Life
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Risk Assessment