Resource use implications of using physical interventions to control or prevent the spread of respiratory viruses

Added April 16, 2020

Citation: Lee KM, Shukla VK, Clark M, et al. Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses — resource use implications: a systematic review. Ottawa: Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health; 2011

What is this? Physical interventions can be effective at preventing or reducing the spread of respiratory viruses, such as COVID-19. It is important to understand the resource and economic impacts of these interventions.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for studies of the costs of physical interventions or resource use to control or prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. They restricted their search to articles published between 1995 and 2010 but did not restrict by language. They did their most recent search in September 2011. They included 3 studies that reported use of resources (2 from the collection of data and 1 using simulation) and 4 studies that examined the cost or cost-effectiveness of physical interventions using modelling exercises.

What was found:  Use of physical interventions to prevent disease transmission appears to be cost-effective during an epidemic or pandemic.

What’s uncertain: The generalizability of this review’s results to different respiratory virus types and community settings is uncertain.


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