Overactive bladder (OAB) is a highly prevalent urinary syndrome with a profound impact on quality of life (QoL) of affected patients and their family because of its adverse effects on social, sexual, interpersonal, and professional function. Cost-of-illness analyses showed the huge economic burden related to OAB for patients, public healthcare systems, and society, secondary to both direct and indirect costs; however, intangible costs related to QoL impact are usually omitted from these analyses. Recently many novel treatment modalities have been introduced and the need to apply the modern methodology of health technology assessment to these treatment strategies was immediately clear in order to evaluate objectively their value in term of both improvement in length/quality of life and costs. Health utilities are instruments that allow a measurement of QoL and its integration in the economic evaluation using the quality-adjusted life-years model and cost-utility analysis. The development of suitable instruments for quantifying utility in the specific group of OAB patients is vitally important to extend the application of cost-utility analysis in OAB and to guide healthcare resources allocation for this disorder. Studies are required to define the cost-effectiveness of available pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapy options for this disorder. © 2010 Sacco et al.
- Health utility
- Overactive bladder