Including Spillover Effects in Economic Evaluation

Edward Henry smiling at camera

Edward Henry, doctoral student at the University of Galway, presented a set of new recommendations for incorporating “health spillover” into the economic evaluations of health interventions at the CHDS seminar series. The “Spillovers in Health Economic Evaluation and Research” (SHEER) task force is a global panel of 17 subject-matter experts in academia, regulatory agencies, and industry, convened to develop “emerging good practice.” Henry, CHDS’ Eve Wittenberg, Hareth Al-Janabi of the University of Birmingham, and John Cullinan of Galway co-chaired the group which met over the past year to conduct their work. SHEER has produced 11 consensus recommendations for cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis.

While the full list and methodology is expected for publication soon, the list includes recommendations such as to equally weight health gains among those affected by the intervention but also to report these changes in health separately for patients and their caregivers. The taskforce also recommends researchers study the distributional consequences of including spillover effects in their analyses, since its inclusion could favor policies that target patients with more caregivers and larger familial networks.

Disease interventions often affect the health of individuals other than the patient, such as their family members and especially those who have taken on the role of caregiver. As life expectancy rises, dependency increases, and patients express clear preferences for at-home care over institutional care, the consistent inclusion of spillover effects in health economics will become more important. The recommendations of the SHEER taskforce will help researchers better study the full impact of health interventions on society.

Learn more: Read about spillover effects on the CHDS preferences and values page

Related news: Family Effects of Illness Research