Certified service dogs – A cost-effectiveness analysis appraisal

Autoři: Martina Lundqvist aff001;  Jenny Alwin aff001;  Lars-Åke Levin aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linkoping University, Linköping, Sweden aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(9)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0219911



Individuals with functional impairments or chronic diseases are often in need of assistance in their daily lives. For these individuals it is essential to find novel, cost-effective solutions to meet their needs. Service dogs are dogs that are specially trained to assist individuals with functional impairments and may be able to improve these individuals’ quality of life at a reasonable cost, i.e. be cost effective. Cost-effectiveness analyses are used to illustrate the cost of an intervention in relation to its effects and provide important input to decision-makers when setting priorities.


The aim of this study is to assess the cost effectiveness of a certified physical service dog and a diabetes alert dog compared to a regular companion dog.


Costs, life years and quality-adjusted life years were estimated over a 10-year time horizon using a decision-analytic model built upon evidence from the”service and hearing dog project”. The primary outcome was the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio expressed as cost per gained quality-adjusted life year. The analysis was conducted from a societal perspective. Costs and effects were discounted with 3% per annum and reported in USD.


Compared to a regular companion dog, a physical service dog is cost saving [-6,000 USD] and gives the dog owner more quality-adjusted life years [0.28]. The diabetes alert dog is also cost effective in comparison with a regular companion dog [-4,500 USD, 0.06 QALYs].


This study indicates that a certified service dog is cost saving in comparison with a regular companion dog for individuals with functional impairments or chronic diseases. The uncertainty of the analysis implies that further studies are needed in order to confirm these results. Nevertheless, physical service dogs and diabetes alert dogs show potential to be a valuable support and decision analytic models are useful tools to provide this information.

Klíčová slova:

Biology and life sciences – Organisms – Eukaryota – Animals – Vertebrates – Amniotes – Mammals – Dogs – Animal types – Pets and companion animals – Zoology – Medicine and health sciences – Endocrinology – Endocrine disorders – Metabolic disorders – Health care – Health economics – Health care providers – Medical doctors – Physicians – Social sciences – Economics – Economic analysis – Cost-effectiveness analysis – People and places – Geographical locations – Europe – European Union – Sweden – Population groupings – Professions – Medical personnel – Physical sciences – Mathematics – Probability theory – Markov models


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