Trial-based economic evaluations in occupational health: principles, methods, and recommendations

J Occup Environ Med. 2014 Jun;56(6):563-72. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000165.


To allocate available resources as efficiently as possible, decision makers need information on the relative economic merits of occupational health and safety (OHS) interventions. Economic evaluations can provide this information by comparing the costs and consequences of alternatives. Nevertheless, only a few of the studies that consider the effectiveness of OHS interventions take the extra step of considering their resource implications. Moreover, the methodological quality of those that do is generally poor. Therefore, this study aims to help occupational health researchers conduct high-quality trial-based economic evaluations by discussing the theory and methodology that underlie them, and by providing recommendations for good practice regarding their design, analysis, and reporting. This study also helps consumers of this literature with understanding and critically appraising trial-based economic evaluations of OHS interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Benchmarking
  • Comparative Effectiveness Research* / organization & administration
  • Efficiency, Organizational / economics
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Intention to Treat Analysis
  • Occupational Health*
  • Pragmatic Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Relative Value Scales
  • Workers' Compensation / economics