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Table 1 Terminology

From: The quality of reporting methods and results of cost-effectiveness analyses in Spain: a methodological systematic review

Cost-effectiveness analysis is a specific form of economic evaluation comparing two or more alternative programmes by measuring costs and consequences. Consequences are measured in natural units (e.g. life years gained or cases averted).
Cost-utility analysis is a variant of cost-effectiveness analysis, where consequences are measured in terms of summary measures of population health such as quality-adjusted life years.
Cost-effectiveness acceptability curve is a graphical representation of the cost-effectiveness comparison between two interventions and plots the probability that one intervention is more cost-effective than other, as a function of the willingness-to-pay threshold for one additional unit of benefits.
Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) is the ratio of the change in costs of an intervention (compared to the alternative) to the change in effects of the intervention.
Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) are a measure that combines length of life and quality of life in a single outcome.