Finding and using research evidence about resource use and costs

by Andrew D Oxman, Atle Fretheim, John N Lavis, Simon Lewin | Dec 16, 2009

Full text | PDF


In this article, we address considerations about resource use and costs. The consequences of a policy or programme option for resource use differ from other impacts (both in terms of benefits and harms) in several ways. However, considerations of the consequences of options for resource use are similar to considerations related to other impacts in that policymakers and their staff need to identify important impacts on resource use, acquire and appraise the best available evidence regarding those impacts, and ensure that appropriate monetary values have been applied. We suggest four questions that can be considered when assessing resource use and the cost consequences of an option. These are:

  1. What are the most important impacts on resource use?
  2. What evidence is there for important impacts on resource use?
  3. How confident is it possible to be in the evidence for impacts on resource use?