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Scoping review on social care economic evaluation methods

Posted on 29 November 2017

CHE's latest Research Paper 150 written by Helen Weatherly, Rita Faria, Bernard Van den Berg, Mark Sculpher, Peter O’Neill, Kay Nolan, Julie Glanville, Jaana Isojarvi, Erin Baragula and Mary Edwards

CHE Research Paper

In the UK and internationally there is widespread acceptance of the value and general methods of economic evaluations to inform decisions about health care interventions. By contrast, approaches to social care economic evaluation are substantially less well developed. The project aimed to inform NICE on the methods available for use in undertaking economic evaluation of social care interventions, the methods in development, the methods challenges faced and the methods gaps.

A systematic review of the published literature and a survey of experts were undertaken to fulfil the study aims. Data were extracted on key requirements for economic evaluation: the perspective of the analysis, the interventions compared, the evidence used on costs and effects, opportunity cost, uncertainty, and equity.  

Thirty social care economic evaluations were identified for review. Experts provided feedback on the findings of the key requirements for economic evaluation.

Methods guidance for the economic evaluation of social care interventions needs to reflect what is feasible given the available evidence and what is appropriate for social care. A more developed evidence base is required in order to undertake economic evaluation of social care interventions. This should include undertaking primary studies where the evidence is not sufficient. Studies based on decision models and secondary evidence should be used where there is sufficient evidence available to do so.

Full Report: CHE Research Paper 150 (PDF , 1,676kb)

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