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Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Vol. 39 No. 5, September/October 2002
Pages 549-558

A cost-utility analysis of adult group audiologic rehabilitation: Are the benefits worth the cost?
Harvey Abrams, PhD; Theresa Hnath Chisolm, PhD; Rachel McArdle, MS

Abstract  —  The purpose of this study was to conduct a cost-utility analysis comparing two treatment approaches: (1) hearing aid use alone (HA) and (2) hearing aid use with short-term group postfitting audiologic rehabilitation (HA + AR). A total of 105 veterans, 67 males and 38 females, with at least a mild sensorineural hearing loss participated in this study. The SF-36V was administered to each participant before and after treatment. This instrument measures both mental component summary (MCS) scales and physical component summary (PCS) scales of quality of life. As a whole, the participants exhibited a statistically significant improvement in mean MCS scores pre- to postintervention, with average improvements of 1.4 and 3.0 points for the HA and HA + AR groups, respectively. With the use of the MCS scores, the results of a cost-utility analysis revealed that HA treatment cost $60.00 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained, while HA + AR cost only $31.91 per QALY gained, making HA + AR the more cost-effective treatment.

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