A Guide to the Fundamentals of Economic Evaluation in Public Health

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Author(s): Scott Moreland, Shaylen Foley, Lauren Morris

Year: 2019

A Guide to the Fundamentals of Economic Evaluation in Public Health Abstract:

Managers and decision makers in public health face choices in a world with limited resources. This Guide to the Fundamentals of Economic Evaluation in Public Health presents an overview of methods and tools that can help to inform public health decisions based on economic principles. Although the guide’s perspective is economic, the principles address health outcomes. The guide is intended for public health program planners, managers, and funders who are not familiar with economic evaluation but want to become familiar with its fundamentals. Some chapters provide more detail than others, especially in areas that may not be well known to many audiences: costing, cost-effectiveness analysis, and cost-benefit analyses. This is not a textbook; the intention is for readers to become familiar with the basic principles of economic evaluation; know when to use economic evaluation methods; be able to read an economic evaluation report; and be able to understand, at a general level, the approaches used and the conclusions reached. The guide will help program managers/decision makers know which approach is the most appropriate to use.

Evaluations of public health interventions, programs, or strategies look at their effectiveness in achieving the intended goal of improved health outcomes. Economic evaluation provides an additional element of understanding the cost factors of an intervention. The guide presents the main tools and approaches used in economic evaluation.

Throughout the guide, the authors have strived to provide concrete, real-world examples and case studies. Where judged to be appropriate, mathematical examples of the required calculations are given. The limitations of each approach as well as any ethical considerations are also discussed.

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