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Health Economics Research Highlights Well-Being in Economic Evaluations

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Health economics takes center stage in the Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research’s (ISPOR) announcement of a special themed section of research papers in Value in Health, offering insights into incorporating well-being into economic evaluations. This special section, published in the July 2024 issue of Value in Health, features research aimed at broadening the scope of health economics to include well-being in decision-making processes.

Guest editors Aleksandra Torbica, PhD (Universita Bocconi, Milan, Italy), Brendan Mulhern, PhD (University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia), and Richard Norman, PhD (Curtin University, Perth, Australia), curated this section. In their opening editorial, Torbica, Mulhern, and Norman emphasize the ongoing need to improve and refine methodologies and frameworks to better capture the complex interactions between interventions, well-being, and resource allocation. They note, “Outcomes beyond health are important, not well measured using our existing tools, and might be better addressed if we have a system that allows cross-sector comparisons.”

The themed section includes six research papers that propose comprehensive theoretical frameworks for economic evaluation, highlight the importance of valuing various attributes of benefit, and assess the impact of public expenditure across sectors. The studies also explore population norms and factors contributing to subjective well-being inequality, evaluate the psychometric properties of the EQ-HWB measure in diverse populations, investigate willingness to pay for gains in capability well-being, and introduce the WiX instrument as a comprehensive measure capturing satisfaction across key domains of well-being.

Health Economics Research on Social Decision-Making and Well-Being

“Social Decision-Making Analysis: A General Approach to Inform Decisions on Resources in the Public Sector,” by Francesco Longo, PhD; Karl Claxton, PhD; Susan Griffin, PhD; Anne Mason, PhD; Simon Walker, MSc; and Helen Weatherly, MSc. This paper presents a general approach for social decision-making analysis to inform resource allocation decisions in the public sector. It emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive evaluation framework that considers both health and non-health outcomes to ensure efficient and equitable resource distribution.

“Values Beyond ‘Health’ in Budget-Constrained Healthcare Systems,” by Charles Phelps, PhD. Phelps explores the valuation of benefits beyond health in budget-constrained healthcare systems. The study discusses how integrating well-being measures into economic evaluations can provide a more holistic understanding of the impact of healthcare interventions.

“Subjective Well-Being Population Norms and Inequalities in Hungary: A Large Cross-Sectional, Internet-Based Survey,” by Thao Nguyen, MD, MSc; Fanni Rencz, MD, PhD; and Valentin Brodszky, MD, PhD. This study investigates the subjective well-being of population norms and inequalities in Hungary using a large cross-sectional survey. The findings highlight the importance of considering subjective well-being in health economics evaluations to address inequalities and improve overall well-being.

Health Economics

Comparing Health Measures and Valuing Well-Being: Insights from China and Beyond

“A Head-to-Head Comparison of EQ-HWB and EQ-5D-5L in Patients, Carers, and General Public in China,” by Chen Long, PhD; Zhuxin Mao, PhD; and Zhihao Yang, PhD. The paper compares the EQ-HWB and EQ-5D-5L measures in various populations in China, assessing their psychometric properties and suitability for use in economic evaluations. The study provides insights into the applicability of these measures in diverse cultural contexts.

“From Health to Well-Being: Toward a Monetary Valuation of a Well-Being-Adjusted Life Year,” by Carolin Brinkmann, MSc; Tom Stargardt, PhD; and Werner Brouwer, PhD. Brinkmann and colleagues propose a framework for the monetary valuation of a Well-Being-Adjusted Life Year (WALY). This innovative approach aims to integrate well-being measures into economic evaluations, offering a more comprehensive assessment of the value of healthcare interventions.

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Introducing the 10-Item WiX Instrument for Economic Studies

“Construct Validity, Reliability, and Responsiveness of the 10-Item Well-Being Instrument (WiX) for Use in Economic Evaluation Studies,” by Judith Bom, PhD; Daphne Voormolen, PhD; Werner Brouwer, PhD; Esther de Bekker-Grob, PhD; and Job van Exel, PhD. This paper introduces the 10-Item Well-Being Instrument (WiX) and evaluates its construct validity, reliability, and responsiveness. The WiX instrument is designed to capture satisfaction across key domains of well-being, providing a valuable tool for economic evaluations.

“In summary, the six studies included in the ‘From Health to Welfare’ themed section contribute to advancing the field of health economics and policy analysis by offering novel frameworks, measurement tools, and insights into the holistic evaluation of interventions and resource allocation decisions,” concluded Torbica, Mulhern, and Norman. “By addressing gaps in traditional methodologies and broadening the scope of evaluation to encompass well-being beyond health, these studies pave the way for more comprehensive and nuanced approaches to economic evaluation in healthcare and social policy.”

These research contributions highlight the importance of incorporating well-being into health economics evaluations, offering a more holistic perspective on the impact of healthcare interventions and resource allocation decisions. This broadened scope can lead to more informed decision-making, ultimately improving health and well-being outcomes for populations worldwide.


Resource: <a style="font-family: Verdana, BlinkMacSystemFont, -apple-system, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif; font-size: 15px;" href="–broadening-the-scope-of-health-economics-evaluation-to-incorporate-well-being”>Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research, July 09, 2024

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