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Economic evaluation of parasitic diseases: A critique of the internal and external validity of published studies

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It was estimated that in 1990, major parasitic diseases accounted for 11.7% of the disease burden from communicable disease. As advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of parasitic diseases are made and implemented, there is a growing economic literature to help decision-makers choose the most efficient control method. The aim of this paper is to identify, describe and analyse the available published data on the efficiency of control strategies against parasitic diseases. Internal validity is assessed through the quality of economic evaluations over time using a series of standard questions, and external validity is assessed in terms of the potential to extrapolate results to other settings. This leads to a discussion of the legitimacy and feasibility of pooling data or results from studies for priority setting in the health sector, resulting in three recommendations: to increase the coverage of economic evaluations for parasitic diseases and types of interventions; to improve the internal validity of studies through guidelines and review procedures; and to explore the external validity of research results by examining their predictive validity across settings.
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Keywords: cost-effectiveness; developing countries; economic evaluation; parasitic diseases; review

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Health Economics and Financing Programme, Health Policy Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Publication date: 2000-04-01

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