Health Economics

Rachel NewLed by Rachel Baker, the Institute's health economics research spans the development and application of methods of economic evaluation as applied to health care priority setting and assessment of specific interventions in various settings, focusing on two main areas:

•Applying economic evaluation frameworks to NHS priority setting challenges and to assessment of public health and health care interventions and those promoting broader aspects of wellbeing; and

•Developing methods to explore and quantify the preferences and values of patients and populations with respect to health service provision.

The group has a track record of methodological research investigating and developing techniques, including Willingness to Pay, Standard Gamble and Time Trade-off, for the elicitation of preferences and social values. 

A major focus of our research has been the Social Value of a Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY).More recently this work has focussed specifically on understanding the value attached to health gains at the End of Life.

We also undertake applied economic evaluations of health interventions and population health policies in collaboration with research groups locally and internationally.Funding for this work has come from MRC, CSO, NIHR and the European Commission.

Research funded by the Medical Research Council is developing an existing research approach known as Q methodology and in doing so investigating the relative value to society of medical technologies which extend the lives of terminally ill patients.

The research is being conducted in two phases: the first phase is a ‘standard’ Q study, and involves 250 people sampled from the general population, and 50 from specific groups such as cancer charities.

It is anticipated that this project will help two distinct communities. The research community will benefit from the advances the study hopes to make in Q methodology. Health policy makers and decision makers are also expected to learn from the data gathered during the project’s lifespan.

Social and decision maker preferences for priority setting in health care resource allocation research aims to further develop discrete choice methods to investigate the extent to which attributes other than health gain should count in the allocation of publicly-funded health care resources.

An EU funded FP7 project MedCHAMPS (Mediterranean Studies of Cardiovascular Disease and Hyperglycaemia): analytical modelling of Population Socio-economic transitions developed a CVD and diabetes model for use in four Mediterranean study countries; Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey.

A MRC funded project Prevention IMPACT: developing and evaluating economic models for planning optimal cardiovascular prevention strategies is developing interactive economic and information models that will help decision makers evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of cardiovascular risk factor reduction in high risk individuals and in entire populations.

The IMPACT CHD model has been extended to incorporate an economic component to evaluate the cost effectiveness of policies to reduce dietary salt intake aimed at preventing cardiovascular disease.

Our research involves researchers from the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health and the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAHPRU).

Further information:

Dr Rachel Baker
Tel: + 44 (0)141 331 8246