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Arch Dis Child. 2003 Sep;88(9):760-6.

Efficiency of alternative policy options for screening for developmental dysplasia of the hip in the United Kingdom.

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  • 1MRC Health Services Research Collaboration, Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 2PR, UK.



To assess, using a decision model, the efficiency of ultrasound based and clinical screening strategies for developmental dysplasia of the hip.


The additional cost per additional favourable outcome was compared for the following strategies: clinical screening alone using the Ortolani and Barlow tests; addition of static and dynamic ultrasound examination of the hips of all infants (universal ultrasound) or restricted to infants with defined risk factors (selective ultrasound); "no screening" (that is, clinical diagnosis only).


Ultrasound based screening strategies are predicted to be more effective but more costly than clinical screening or no screening. Estimated total costs per 100,000 live births are approximately pound 4 million for universal ultrasound, pound 3 million for selective ultrasound, pound 1 million for clinical screening alone, and pound 0.4 million for no screening. The relative efficiency of selective ultrasound and clinical screening is poorly differentiated, and depends on how infants are selected for ultrasound as well as the expertise of clinical screening examiners. If training costs less than pound 20 per child screened, clinical screening alone would be more efficient than selective ultrasound. Relative to no screening, each of the 16 additional favourable outcomes achieved as a result of selective ultrasound costs approximately pound 0.2 million, while each of the five favourable outcomes achieved through universal ultrasound screening, over and above selective ultrasound, costs approximately pound 0.3 million.


Policy choice depends on values attached to the different outcomes, willingness to pay to achieve these and total budget.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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