A review of tools to calculate the cost of health conditions and common health risk factors

Kara Contreary, Zhuo Chen, Sajal Chattopadhyay, Man Huei Chang

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review


A cost calculator is a software tool that calculates the monetary cost associated with a disease, condition, or risk factor within a population group. We attempted to identify all available public health cost calculators using adapted systematic review methodology and performed a qualitative and a quantitative review on each included calculator. We first abstracted each calculator to ascertain its subject, target user, methodology, and output. We also developed a novel set of scoring criteria and evaluated each calculator for transparency and customizability. We found a wide variety of existing calculators in terms of subject area, target user, and analytic methodology. Furthermore, using our rating criteria, we found large differences in transparency with respect to the assumptions and parameter inputs driving results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1-E10
JournalJournal of Public Health Management and Practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • cost calculator
  • cost of illness
  • online tools
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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