A systematic review of economic evaluations of health and health-related interventions in Bangladesh
1 Health system and Economics Unit, ICDDR,B: Center for Health and Population Research, GPO Box 128, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
2 Bangladesh Medical Research Council, Dhaka, Bangladesh
3 Financial and Health Policy, Global Health program, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, USA
Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation 2011, 9:12 doi:10.1186/1478-7547-9-12Published: 20 July 2011
Economic evaluation is used for effective resource allocation in health sector. Accumulated knowledge about economic evaluation of health programs in Bangladesh is not currently available. While a number of economic evaluation studies have been performed in Bangladesh, no systematic investigation of the studies has been done to our knowledge. The aim of this current study is to systematically review the published articles in peer-reviewed journals on economic evaluation of health and health-related interventions in Bangladesh.
Literature searches was carried out during November-December 2008 with a combination of key words, MeSH terms and other free text terms as suitable for the purpose. A comprehensive search strategy was developed to search Medline by the PubMed interface. The first specific interest was mapping the articles considering the areas of exploration by economic evaluation and the second interest was to scrutiny the methodological quality of studies. The methodological quality of economic evaluation of all articles has been scrutinized against the checklist developed by Evers Silvia and associates.
Of 1784 potential articles 12 were accepted for inclusion. Ten studies described the competing alternatives clearly and only two articles stated the perspective of their articles clearly. All studies included direct cost, incurred by the providers. Only one study included the cost of community donated resources and volunteer costs. Two studies calculated the incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER). Six of the studies applied some sort of sensitivity analysis. Two of the studies discussed financial affordability of expected implementers and four studies discussed the issue of generalizability for application in different context.
Very few economic evaluation studies in Bangladesh are found in different areas of health and health-related interventions, which does not provide a strong basis of knowledge in the area. The most frequently applied economic evaluation is cost-effectiveness analysis. The majority of the studies did not follow the scientific method of economic evaluation process, which consequently resulted into lack of robustness of the analyses. Capacity building on economic evaluation of health and health-related programs should be enhanced.