Are intersectoral costs considered in economic evaluations of interventions relating to sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? A systematic review


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) not only have an impact on the health sector but also the private resources of those affected, their families and other sectors of society (i.e. labour, education). This study aimed to i) review and identify economic evaluations of interventions relating to STIs, which aimed to include a societal perspective; ii) analyse the intersectoral costs (i.e. costs broader than healthcare) included; iii) categorise these costs by sector; and iv) assess the impact of intersectoral costs on the overall study results. METHODS: Seven databases were searched: MEDLINE (PubMed), EMBASE (Ovid), Web of Science, CINAHL, PsycINFO, EconLit and NHS EED. Key search terms included terms for economic evaluation, STIs and specific infections. This review considered trial- and model-based economic evaluations conducted in an OECD member country. Studies were included that assessed intersectoral costs. Intersectoral costs were extracted and categorised by sector using Drummond’s cost classification scheme (i.e. patient/family, productivity, costs in other sectors). A narrative synthesis was performed. RESULTS: Twenty-nine studies qualified for data extraction and narrative synthesis. Twenty-eight studies applied a societal perspective of which 8 additionally adopted a healthcare or payer perspective, or both. One study used a modified payer perspective. The following sectors were identified: patient/family, informal care, paid labour (productivity), non-paid opportunity costs, education, and consumption. Patient/family costs were captured in 11 studies and included patient time, travel expenses, out-of-pocket costs and premature burial costs. Informal caregiver support (non-family) and unpaid help by family/friends was captured in three studies. Paid labour losses were assessed in all but three studies. Three studies also captured the costs and inability to perform non-paid work. Educational costs and future non-health consumption costs were each captured in one study. The inclusion of intersectoral costs resulted in more favourable cost estimates. CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review suggests that economic evaluations of interventions relating to STIs that adopt a societal perspective tend to be limited in scope. There is an urgent need for economic evaluations to be more comprehensive in order to allow policy/decision-makers to make better-informed decisions.


Schnitzler L, Evers SMAA, Jackson LJ, Paulus ATG, Roberts TE




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
    • General HIV- population
  • Co-infections
    • Hepatitis B, C
    • Chlamydia
    • Gonorrhea
    • Other
  • Health Systems
    • Financial arrangements


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