The burden of injury in terms of deaths and disability is considerable. Injuries result in large direct expenditures for healthcare and are a major burden for other sectors. Economic evaluation studies give insight into the (potential) changes in costs and population health as a result of preventive interventions for making the most optimal choices in preventive policies. Our review ‘Economic evaluation studies of injury prevention measures’ showed that in most countries systematic research into the economic impact of injuries is almost totally lacking. Furthermore, there are large differences with respect to the way studies measure and value economic and health consequences of injuries. Therefore, the WHO recognised the need for a systematic yet simple set of guidelines that would enable public health experts, policy makers and researchers to estimate the economic burden of injuries. With this manual we will provide a step-wise guidance according to a standardised methodology, in order to contribute an increased evidence base of cost-effectiveness interventions for injury prevention. The main steps of the guidance are as follows: (1) defining study design, (2) estimating costs, (3) estimating health effects, (4) calculating incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, (5) adjustments for timing and uncertainty and (6) reporting results. The added value of this guide is that it zooms in on the specifics of economic evaluation studies of injury prevention measures. It is hoped that this guidance will support a growing number of scientific analyses of the economic impacts of injuries, and ultimately result in additional prevention programs and lives saved.
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