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Health economic evaluation in ophthalmology
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  • Published on:
    Extended Utility Domains for Health Economics Evaluations in Ophthalmology: A call to action
    • Andrew F. Smith, Visiting Professor and Health economist Department of Ophthalmology, King's College London, London, England

    Atik et al (BJO have done an excellent job of summarizing the current state of the art for conducting health economic evaluations in ophthalmology. Not surprisingly, however, such tools and techniques were originally designed to address broader questions of healthcare funding and resource allocation across many disparate clinical areas. As such, the general use case was very far removed from ophthalmology. This is relevant as a central component is the calculation of the utility parameters used, particularly in cost-effectiveness calculations (1). At present, the standard default utility measure remains the EQ5D, which does not prima facie include a vision specific domain (2). Rather, a “Vision Bolt-On” to the EQ5D which asks patients whether they “Have no problems seeing”; “Have some problem seeing”; or “Have extreme problems seeing” is proposed for increasing the precision of the utility score derived from patients for ophthalmic interventions (3). Unfortunately, the “Vision Bolt On” while theoretically increasing the discriminating power of the EQ-5D has not been widely adopted in economic evaluations conducted in ophthalmology (3-4). Moreover, as currently configured, the “Vision Bolt On” questions fail to adequately account for the clinical differences, say between central or fine reading vision which may be more relevant in patients with age-related macular degeneration, versus...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.