A Systematic Review of WTA-WTP Disparity for Dental Interventions and Implications for Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Healthcare (Basel) 2020; 8: , ISBN 2227-9032 (Print)
2227-9032 (Linking) (Journal)

Sendi P., Ramadani A., Zitzmann N. U., Bornstein M. M.

Cost-effectiveness analysis is widely adopted as an analytical framework to evaluate whether health care interventions represent value for money, and its use in dentistry is increasing. Traditionally, in cost-effectiveness analysis, one assumes that the decision maker's maximum willingness to pay (WTP) for health gain is equivalent to his minimum willingness to accept (WTA) monetary compensation for health loss. It has been documented in the literature that losses are weighted higher than equivalent gains, i.e., that WTA exceeds WTP for the same health condition, resulting in a WTA/WTP ratio greater than 1. There is a knowledge gap of published WTA/WTP ratios for dental interventions in the literature. We therefore conducted a (i) systematic review of published WTA-WTP estimates in dentistry (MEDLINE, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, London, UK) and (ii) a patient-level analysis of WTA/WTP ratios of included studies, and (iii) we demonstrate the impact of a WTA-WTP disparity on cost-effectiveness analysis. Out of 55 eligible studies, two studies were included in our review. The WTA/WTP ratio ranged from 2.58 for discontinuing water fluoridation to 5.12 for mandibular implant overdentures, indicating a higher disparity for implant rehabilitations than for dental public health interventions. A WTA-WTP disparity inflates the cost-effectiveness of dental interventions when there is a substantial risk of both lower costs and health outcomes. We therefore recommend that in these cases the results of cost-effectiveness analyses are reported using different WTA/WTP ratios in a sensitivity analysis.

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