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Authors
GANDJOUR, AFSCHIN MD, PhD; SCHLICHTHERLE, STEFANIE MD; NEUGEBAUER, ANTJE MD; RÜSSMANN, WALTER MD; WILHELM LAUTERBACH, KARL MD, DSs

A Cost-Effectiveness Model of Screening Strategies for Amblyopia and Risk Factors and Its Application in a German Setting

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Abstract/Introduction

Purpose. 

To develop a general setting–independent decision-analytical model that determines the costs, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of four screening strategies to detect amblyopia or amblyogenic factors in pre-school children and to apply the model in a German setting.

 

Methods

The general setting–independent decision–analytical model was developed from the perspective of society and the statutory health insurance was developed. Outcomes were the total number of newly detected true positive cases of amblyopia and the costs per newly detected true positive case of amblyopia. Strategies were screening of high-risk children up to the age of 1 year (ophthalmologists), screening of all children up to the age of 1 year (ophthalmologists), screening of all children aged 3 to 4 years (pediatricians or general practitioners), and screening of children aged 3 to 4 years visiting kindergarten (orthoptists). For the application example in a German setting, data from the published medical literature were used.


Conclusion/Results

Results

In the base-case analysis of the application example, screening high-risk children by ophthalmologists had the lowest average cost per case detected but became dominated (less effective and more costly than an alternative) if a low (5.3%) probability of familial clustering of strabismus was assumed. Considering the various assumptions tested in the sensitivity analysis, screening of all children up to the age of 1 year by ophthalmologists was the only strategy not dominated by others. Detection rates, including cases detected before screening, were between 72% and 78% for the strategies that screen for all children.

 

Conclusions

The model suggests that in Germany, both from a cost-effectiveness and a pure effectiveness point of view, screening all children up to the age of 1 year by ophthalmologists is the preferred strategy to detect amblyopia or amblyogenic factors. All strategies left a significant portion of children undetected.


Testimonials


  • Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.


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  • I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.


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  • Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.


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  • Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.


    Justin E.

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