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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Surrey Walton, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy)
Description: This is an easy to read introduction to why cost effectiveness studies are done, what type of studies are done, what steps are generally involved, and how the pertinent results are typically generated. In doing so, it introduces a variety of concepts surrounding the definition and measurement of costs and health outcomes, and more generally where the underlying information comes from and how it is used. It also includes useful exercises that reinforce the concepts in the text. The first edition was published in 2002.
Purpose: Cost effectiveness research is currently growing at a substantial rate by any measure. The purpose of this book is to provide a practical introduction to cost effectiveness research for those considering entering into the field, or for those wanting to better understand existing studies.
Audience: This book is well suited for graduate students or professionals working in a healthcare related field. The book would also be useful to professors who are teaching an introductory course, particularly at the master's level. The author has substantial experience in designing, conducting, and publishing cost effectiveness research and has won numerous teaching awards.
Features: The book provides an easy to read and comprehensive (in terms of breadth) introduction to cost effectiveness analysis. Motivation for the topic, how to frame a particular research question, various techniques for how to measure costs and how to measure health outcomes (e.g. life expectancy and quality of life years), fundamentals of decision modeling and sensitivity analysis, what kinds of data sources are available and how to judge the quality of data, as well as basics of biostatistics and epidemiology are all included. There is a useful set of exercises in each chapter with answers to selected ones. If the book has a shortcoming, it is that it is only an introduction to a variety of methods used in doing research in the area.
Assessment: This very engaging introduction to cost effectiveness analysis provides a good deal of practical insight into how this type of research is actually conducted.