Can J Ophthalmol 2011 Aug 19;46(4):310-4. Epub 2011 Jul 19.
Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Objective: This paper outlines the methodology used to estimate the cost of vision loss in Canada. The results of this study will be presented in a second paper.
Design: The cost of vision loss (VL) in Canada was estimated using a prevalence-based approach. This was done by estimating the number of people with VL in a base period (2007) and the costs associated with treating them. The cost estimates included direct health system expenditures on eye conditions that cause VL, as well as other indirect financial costs such as productivity losses. Estimates were also made of the value of the loss of healthy life, measured in Disability Adjusted Life Years or DALY's. To estimate the number of cases of VL in the population, epidemiological data on prevalence rates were applied to population data. The number of cases of VL was stratified by gender, age, ethnicity, severity and cause. The following sources were used for estimating prevalence: Population-based eye studies; Canadian Surveys; Canadian journal articles and research studies; and International Population Based Eye Studies. Direct health costs were obtained primarily from Health Canada and Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) sources, while costs associated with productivity losses were based on employment information compiled by Statistics Canada and on economic theory of productivity loss. Costs related to vision rehabilitation (VR) were obtained from Canadian VR organizations.
Conclusions: This study shows that it is possible to estimate the costs for VL for a country in the absence of ongoing local epidemiological studies.