A framework for conducting economic evaluations alongside natural experiments

Deidda, M. , Geue, C. , Krief, N., Dundas, R. and McIntosh, E. (2019) A framework for conducting economic evaluations alongside natural experiments. Social Science and Medicine, 220, pp. 353-361. (doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.11.032) (PMID:30513485) (PMCID:PMC6323352)

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Internationally, policy makers are increasingly focussed on reducing the detrimental consequences and rising costs associated with unhealthy diets, inactivity, smoking, alcohol and other risk factors on the health of their populations. This has led to an increase in the demand for evidence-based, cost-effective Population Health Interventions (PHIs) to reverse this trend. Given that research designs such as randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are often not suited to the evaluation of PHIs, Natural Experiments (NEs) are now frequently being used as a design to evaluate such complex, preventive PHIs. However, current guidance for economic evaluation focusses on RCT designs and therefore does not address the specific challenges of NE designs. Using such guidance can lead to sub-optimal design, data collection and analysis for NEs, leading to bias in the estimated effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the PHI. As a consequence, there is a growing recognition of the need to identify a robust methodological framework for the design and conducting of economic evaluations alongside such NEs. This paper outlines the challenges inherent to the design and conduct of economic evaluations of PHIs alongside NEs, providing a comprehensive framework and outlining a research agenda in this area.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McIntosh, Professor Emma and Geue, Dr Claudia and Dundas, Professor Ruth and Deidda, Dr Manuela
Authors: Deidda, M., Geue, C., Krief, N., Dundas, R., and McIntosh, E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Social Science and Medicine
ISSN (Online):1873-5347
Published Online:27 November 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Social Science and Medicine 220: 353-361
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
667121Evaluation of the Healthy Start Voucher Scheme in UK: a natural experiment using the Growing Up in Scotland record linkage study and the Infant Feeding Survey.Ruth DundasNational Institute for Health Research (NIHR)13/164/10IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727651SPHSU Core Renewal: Measuring and Analysing Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health Research ProgrammeAlastair LeylandMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/13IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU