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Table 5 Recommendations for the efficient use of micro-costing as a method of resource-use assessment in surgery

From: The use of micro-costing in economic analyses of surgical interventions: a systematic review

Key Recommendations
 1. Consistently use the term ‘micro-costing’ when describing the methodology and include ‘micro-costing’ in the abstract and as a keyword to facilitate future identification of studies
 2. Identify the potential key cost-drivers (see Table 4) for the surgical intervention based on the research question. Patient pathway mapping with experts (e.g. surgeons and other healthcare professionals) may help identify key resources.
 3. For comparative cost analyses, more accurate albeit time consuming methods (e.g observation) are warranted for resources that differ between comparator procedures, whereas cruder methods (e.g expert opinion) may be sufficient for inexpensive resources with similar use between procedures.
 4. Ensure transparent reporting of micro-costing studies with sufficient disaggregation of elements of the procedure/pathway and reporting of unit costs (in supplementary material if necessary)
 5. Consider applying focused cost-driver micro-costing at multiple centres to improve generalisability of the results