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Gaceta Sanitaria

versión impresa ISSN 0213-9111


ESPERATO, Alexo  y  GARCIA-ALTES, Anna. Health promotion: a profitable investment? Economic efficiency of preventive interventions in Spain. Gac Sanit [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.2, pp.150-161. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To examine the quantity and quality of economic evaluations analyzing preventive interventions in Spain to September 2005, with the further goal of extracting conclusions for further research and the design of future programs. Methods: We performed a systematic review of the evidence. First, we defined the criteria for including studies in our review. Second, a search was conducted of specialized search engines (Pubmed, NHS EED, DARE, HTA, HRSPROJ, IME, EMBASE) and a manual search was performed of journals and the web sites of Spanish public health organizations. In a third phase, the characteristics relevant to our analysis were extracted from the selected articles. Lastly, the characteristics collected were analyzed through uni- and bivariate analyses. Results: Forty-nine articles were found that complied with the inclusion criteria, of which 40 were reviewed. The technique most extensively used was cost-effectiveness analysis (60% of all articles). Twenty-eight evaluations (70%) focused on immunization campaigns. The quality of publications increased over time, from an average score of 4.21 (1985-1995) to 6.38 (1995-2004), although several methodological areas still require improvement. Lastly, 72.5% of the studies supported the universal use or expansion of the policy analyzed. Conclusions: The Spanish research community should increase efforts to improve the quantity and quality of economic evaluations in preventive health. Three basic strategies are suggested: a) evaluation of the preventive programs currently in place in Spain and dissemination of the results; b) efforts to publish and index articles in international scientific journals; and c) adherence to international economic evaluation guidelines and manuals.

Palabras clave : Economic evaluation; Preventive intervention; Systematic review.

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