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Economic Evaluation of Obesity Prevention in Early Childhood: Methods, Limitations and Recommendations

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Despite methodological advances in the field of economic evaluations of interventions, economic evaluations of obesity prevention programmes in early childhood are seldom conducted. The aim of the present study was to explore existing methods and applications of economic evaluations, examining their limitations and making recommendations for future cost-effectiveness assessments. A systematic literature search was conducted using PubMed, Cochrane Library, the British National Health Service Economic Evaluation Databases and EconLit. Eligible studies included trial-based or simulation-based cost-effectiveness analyses of obesity prevention programmes targeting preschool children and/or their parents. The quality of included studies was assessed. Of the six studies included, five were intervention studies and one was based on a simulation approach conducted on secondary data. We identified three main conceptual and methodological limitations of their economic evaluations: Insufficient conceptual approach considering the complexity of childhood obesity, inadequate measurement of effects of interventions, and lack of valid instruments to measure child-related quality of life and costs. Despite the need for economic evaluations of obesity prevention programmes in early childhood, only a few studies of varying quality have been conducted. Moreover, due to methodological and conceptual weaknesses, they offer only limited information for policy makers and intervention providers. We elaborate reasons for the limitations of these studies and offer guidance for designing better economic evaluations of early obesity prevention.

No MeSH data available.


PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) flow diagram.
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ijerph-13-00911-f001: PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) flow diagram.

Mentions: Figure 1 shows the flow of studies identified [20], screened and included in the review. Of the 728 studies identified in the initial search, 717 were excluded after screening based on titles and abstracts. Eleven articles remained for subsequent detailed assessment; of these, six were in line with eligibility criteria and were thus included in our analysis and synthesis. The main reasons for exclusion were the lack of (full) economic evaluation or not fulfilling inclusion criteria, e.g., children over six years of age. Although the study by Pil et al. [21] did not cover a full economic evaluation, it was included because it described the methods of a planned full economic evaluation.


Economic Evaluation of Obesity Prevention in Early Childhood: Methods, Limitations and Recommendations
PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) flow diagram.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5036744&req=5

ijerph-13-00911-f001: PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) flow diagram.
Mentions: Figure 1 shows the flow of studies identified [20], screened and included in the review. Of the 728 studies identified in the initial search, 717 were excluded after screening based on titles and abstracts. Eleven articles remained for subsequent detailed assessment; of these, six were in line with eligibility criteria and were thus included in our analysis and synthesis. The main reasons for exclusion were the lack of (full) economic evaluation or not fulfilling inclusion criteria, e.g., children over six years of age. Although the study by Pil et al. [21] did not cover a full economic evaluation, it was included because it described the methods of a planned full economic evaluation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Despite methodological advances in the field of economic evaluations of interventions, economic evaluations of obesity prevention programmes in early childhood are seldom conducted. The aim of the present study was to explore existing methods and applications of economic evaluations, examining their limitations and making recommendations for future cost-effectiveness assessments. A systematic literature search was conducted using PubMed, Cochrane Library, the British National Health Service Economic Evaluation Databases and EconLit. Eligible studies included trial-based or simulation-based cost-effectiveness analyses of obesity prevention programmes targeting preschool children and/or their parents. The quality of included studies was assessed. Of the six studies included, five were intervention studies and one was based on a simulation approach conducted on secondary data. We identified three main conceptual and methodological limitations of their economic evaluations: Insufficient conceptual approach considering the complexity of childhood obesity, inadequate measurement of effects of interventions, and lack of valid instruments to measure child-related quality of life and costs. Despite the need for economic evaluations of obesity prevention programmes in early childhood, only a few studies of varying quality have been conducted. Moreover, due to methodological and conceptual weaknesses, they offer only limited information for policy makers and intervention providers. We elaborate reasons for the limitations of these studies and offer guidance for designing better economic evaluations of early obesity prevention.

No MeSH data available.