Purpose of review: There has been a drive to meet the needs of people with intellectual disabilities in an environment of resource scarcity. It is also recognized that intervention has the potential to improve social and economic welfare. Economic analyses can be used to inform decision makers about what additional investment is needed (if any) and the impacts on a range of stakeholders of intervention.
Recent findings: There is a paucity of economic studies in intellectual disability. The lack of economic studies is a barrier to making policy and practice decisions for people with intellectual disabilities. In the period of review, 10 economic studies were found.
Summary: Information on resource and cost implications of various treatments and support for people with intellectual disabilities is needed. Economic evaluation techniques can be used to inform decision making. We conducted a systematic review of the literature from January 2006 to February 2010. There was a paucity of economic studies in the field. Analyses assessing a wide range of outcomes alongside costs were the most widely used evaluation method in the review. There is a need for more economic studies in this area.