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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


PENARANDA, Augusto et al. Economic benefits of the cochlear implant for treating profound sensorineural hearing loss. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.31, n.4, pp.325-331. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: Evaluate the cost-benefit, cost-utility, and cost-effectiveness of cochlear implantation, comparing it to the use of hearing aids in children with profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. METHODS: The nonparametric propensity score matching method was used to carry out an economic and impact assessment of the cochlear implant and then perform cost-benefit, cost-utility, and cost-effectiveness analyses. Primary information was used, taken randomly from 100 patients: 62 who received cochlear implants (treatment group) and 38 belonging to the control group who used hearing aids to treat profound sensorineural hearing loss. RESULTS: An economic cost differential was found-to the advantage of the cochlear implant-of close to US$ 204 000 between the implant and the use of hearing aids over the expected life span of the patients analyzed. This amount refers to the greater expenses that hearing-aid patients will have. With this adjusted figure, the cost-benefit indicator shows that for each dollar invested to treat the cochlear-implant patient, there is a return on the investment of US$ 2.07. CONCLUSIONS: The cochlear implant produces economic benefits for the patient. It also produces health utilities since positive cost-utility (gain in decibels) and cost-effectiveness (gain in language discrimination) ratios were found.

Keywords : Cost-benefit analysis; hearing loss; cochlear implants; hearing aids; Colombia.

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