The Maastricht Report, a European study prepared by the SIHI-study group at The University of Maastricht in the Netherlands and published in 1999 found hearing loss to be among disabilities that can be treated most inexpensively and with the greatest benefit.
The Maastricht Report uses a standardised measure, the QALY (Quality Adjusted Life Year) League Table, recognized internationally and commonly for use in the health sector. The QALY shows changes in the quality of life in relation to the cost of the appropriate treatment.
Inexpensive quality of life improvement
The cost per QALY for treating hearing loss for an individual aged between 65 and 69 years is 11,500 Euro. In comparison, the cost per QALY for breast cancer screening is 10,300 Euro, knee replacement 46,500 Euro and peritoneal dialysis 78,000 Euro (please see the diagram).
If the hearing impaired person is younger than 65, the price per QALY is even lower because of the increased quality of life expected over a longer time for this individual.
The Maastricht Report was the result of the first joint major European research project on social, economic and personal consequences of hearing impairment and the use of hearing aids.