Economic evaluation of a pilot school–based dental checkup program

Nguyen, Tan, Hsueh, YS, Morgan, MV, Mariño, RJ and Koshy, S 2017, Economic evaluation of a pilot school–based dental checkup program, JDR Clinical and Translational Research, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 214-222, doi: 10.1177/2380084417708549.

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Title Economic evaluation of a pilot school–based dental checkup program
Author(s) Nguyen, Tan
Hsueh, YS
Morgan, MV
Mariño, RJ
Koshy, S
Journal name JDR Clinical and Translational Research
Volume number 2
Issue number 3
Start page 214
End page 222
Total pages 9
Publisher SAGE Publications
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017-07
ISSN 2380-0844
Keyword(s) children
cost-effectiveness analysis
cost-utility analysis
dental caries
health care economics and organizations
health services research
Summary The objectives of this study were to perform an economic evaluation of a targeted school-based dental checkup program in northern metropolitan Melbourne, Victoria. A 12-mo retrospective case-control cohort analysis using the decision tree method evaluated the incremental cost-utility and cost-effectiveness ratio (ICUR/ICER) for passive standard care dental services and an outreach pilot intervention completed in 2013. A societal perspective was adopted. A total of 273 children ( n = 273) aged between 3 and 12 y met the inclusion/exclusion criteria: 128 in the standard care group and 145 in the intervention group. The total society costs included health sector costs, patient/family costs, and productivity losses in 2014 Australian dollars. Outcome measures were evaluated using quality-adjusted tooth years (QATY) and the combined deciduous and permanent decayed, missing, and filled teeth prevented (DMFT-prevented). A generic outcome variable was created to determine the impact of the intervention to reach underserved populations based on government concession eligibility (cardholder status). Uncertainties were incorporated using 95% confidence intervals. The mean total society cost per child is $463 and $291 ( P = 0.002), QATY utility difference is 0.283 and 0.293 ( P = 0.937), effectiveness difference is 0.16 and 0.10 ( P = 0.756), and cardholder status is 50.0% and 66.2% ( P = 0.007), respectively, for the standard care and intervention groups. On average per child, there was a cost saving of $172 and improvement of 0.01 QATY, with an additional proportion of 16.2% of cardholder children reached. The calculated ICER was $3,252 per DMFT-prevented. The intervention dominates standard care for QATY and per 1% cardholder reached outcome measures. Our study found the pilot checkup program was largely less costly and more effective compared with the current standard care. Further research is needed to quantify the value of outreach interventions to prevent dental caries development and progression in populations from low socioeconomic status. Knowledge Transfer Statement: The findings of this research demonstrated that an outreach dental program can be less costly and more effective than standard models of dental care. It showed that a school-based dental checkup program is beneficial despite other opinions that dental screening is ineffective as a method to improve public dental health. There is fiscal economic evidence to support broader expansion of similar programs locally and internationally to reduce dental caries for children from low-income families.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/2380084417708549
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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