Health economic evaluation is the application of economic theories, tools and concepts to healthcare. In the setting of limited resources, increasing demand and a growing array of intervention options, economic evaluation provides a framework for measuring, valuing and comparing the costs and benefits of different healthcare interventions. This review provides an overview of the concepts and methods of economic evaluation, illustrated with examples in ophthalmology. Types of economic evaluation include cost-minimisation, cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness, cost-utility and economic modelling. Topics including utility measures, the quality-adjusted lifeyear, discounting, perspective and timeframe are discussed. Health economic evaluation is important to understand the costs and value of interventions in ophthalmology and to inform health policy as well as guide clinical decision-making.
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