Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 48 Number 3, 2011
   Pages 235 — 244

Abstract —  Long-term cost-effectiveness of screening strategies for hearing loss

Chuan-Fen Liu, PhD, MPH;1-2* Margaret P. Collins, PhD, CCC-A;1 Pamela E. Souza, PhD, CCC-A;3 Bevan Yueh, MD, MPH1,4-5

1Center of Excellence for Health Services Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA; Departments of 2Health Services, 3Speech and Hearing Sciences, and 4Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; 5Surgery and Perioperative Care Service, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA

Abstract — Routine hearing screening can identify patients who are motivated to seek out and adhere to treatment, but little information exists on the cost-effectiveness of hearing screening in a general population of older veterans. We compared the cost-effectiveness of three screening strategies (tone-emitting otoscope, hearing handicap questionnaire, and both together) against no screening (control group) in 2,251 older veterans. The effectiveness measure for each group was the proportion of hearing aid use 1 year after screening. The audiology cost measure included costs of hearing loss screening and audiology care for 1 year after screening. Incremental cost-effectiveness was the audiology cost of additional hearing aid use for each screening group compared with the control group. The mean total audiology cost per patient was $77.04, $122.70, $121.37, and $157.08 for the control, otoscope, questionnaire, and dual screening groups, respectively. The tone-emitting otoscope appears to be the most cost-effective approach for hearing loss screening, with a significant increase in hearing aid use 1 year after screening (2.8%) and an insignificant incremental cost-effectiveness of $1,439.00 per additional hearing aid user compared with the control group. For this population of older veterans, screening for hearing loss with the tone-emitting otoscope is cost-effective.

Key words: audiology, aural rehabilitation, cost-effectiveness, healthcare cost, health services, hearing aid, hearing loss, hearing loss screening, preventive care, veterans.


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 48, No. 3
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Liu CF, Collins MP, Souza PE, Yueh B. Long-term cost-effectiveness of screening strategies for hearing loss. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2011;48(3):235-44.
DOI:10.1682/JRRD.2010.03.0041
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Last Reviewed or Updated  Tuesday, March 22, 2011 11:36 AM

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