Systematic review and quality assessment of economic evaluation studies of injury prevention

Suzanne Polinder, Maria Segui-Gomez, Hidde Toet, Eefje Belt, Dinesh Sethi, Francesca Racioppi, Ed F. Van Beeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective: To review and assess the quality of economic evaluation studies on injury prevention measures. Design: Systematic review. Data sources: Electronic databases searched included Medline (Pubmed), EMBASE, Web of Science, PsycINFO, and Safetylit. Inclusion criteria: Empirical studies published in English in international peer-reviewed journals in the period 1998-2009. The subject of the study was economic evaluation of prevention of unintentional injury. Cost-effectiveness (CEA), cost-benefit (CBA) and cost utility (CUA) analyses were included. Methods: Methodological details, study designs, and analysis and interpretation of results of the included articles were reviewed and extracted into summary tables. Study quality was judged using the criteria recommended by the Panel on cost-effectiveness in health and medicine and the British Medical Journal (BMJ) checklist for economic evaluations. Results: Forty-eight studies met the inclusion criteria of our review. Interventions assessed most frequently were hip protectors and exercise programs for the elderly. A wide variety of methodological approaches was found, including differences in type of economic evaluation, perspective, time horizon, study design, cost categories, effect outcomes, and adjustments for timing and uncertainty used. The majority of studies performed a cost-effectiveness analysis from a societal perspective with a time horizon of one to five years, in which the effect was expressed in terms of injuries prevented and only direct health care costs were included. Most studies deviated from one or more of the Panel recommendations or BMJ guidelines; e.g. not adopting the societal perspective, not including all relevant costs, no incremental analysis. Conclusions: This review has shown that approaches to economic evaluation of injury prevention vary widely and most studies do not fulfill methodological rigour. Improving quality and harmonization of economic evaluation studies in the field of injury prevention is needed. One way of achieving this would be to establish international guidelines on economic evaluation for injury prevention interventions, based on established economic evaluation checklists, to assist researchers in the design and reporting of economic evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-221
Number of pages11
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Economic evaluation
  • Injury prevention
  • Quality assessment
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Law
  • Medicine(all)


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