A Cost-benefit Analysis of Cataract Surgery based on the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing

Publication date: 7 Aug 2012 | Publication type: Journal article/book/chapter | Theme: Trade, Investment & Productivity, Employment & Social policy | NIESR Author(s): Weale, M | Journal: Journal of Health Economics No. 4 Vol. 30

This paper uses the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing to explore the self-reported effect of cataract operations on eye-sight. A non-parametric analysis shows clearly that most cataract patients report improved eye-sight after surgery and a parametric analysis provides further information: it shows that the beneficial effect is larger the worse was self-reported eye-sight preceding surgery so that those with very good or excellent eye-sight do not derive immediate benefit. Nevertheless, the long-run effect is suggested to be beneficial. Calibrating the results to existing studies of the effect of imperfect eye-sight on quality of life, the impact of cataract operations on quality-adjusted life-years is found to be similar to that established in previous studies and well above the costs of cataract operations in most circumstances.

Keyword tags: 
QALY, cataract surgery, English longitudinal survey of ageing