A model of cost-outcome analysis for assistive technology

Renzo Andrich, Massimo Ferrario, Matteo Moi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the CERTAIN study (research carried out in 1994-96 within the Technology Initiative for Disabled and Elderly (TIDE) programme of the European Union), a number of real life case studies of provision of assistive technology to disabled persons were investigated in order to assess the applicability of socio-economic principles, methods and techniques already available from Health Care Technology Assessment studies. A retrospective study on cost, effectiveness and utility resulting from the implementation of assistive technology was carried out over a sample of disabled persons who had adopted technical aids before the start of the project. The sample was selected in such a way to include different pathologies (steady or progressive), impairments, ages, technology and social environment. Each case was described by considering all clinical, technical and social aspects; a common structure for case reporting was developed and tested; attempts were carried out to apply and refine concept and tools derived from health technology assessment studies; on the grounds of such experience a decision support model was elaborated for the choice between different alternatives in order to maximize the client's quality of life while making efficient use of scarce resources. A computer implementation of such a model was also developed, along with a mathematical structure of cost analysis. Within a national research programme such findings were further exploited, leading to the development of a prototype cost-outcome instrument designed for use in clinical practice in the provision of assistive technology to individual cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998


  • Assistive technology
  • Cost-outcome analysis
  • Quality of life
  • Technology assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)


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