Measures of wellbeing for use in economic evaluation: valuing and assessing health outcomes in Ireland

In Ireland, healthcare decisions primarily concentrate on maximising health gain. However, with more integrated social care, there is growing recognition that this perspective is too narrow. Health maximisation is unlikely to be a relevant objective, particularly where demand for social care is high (e.g. in chronic diseases, palliative care) as service users have distinct priorities and needs other than just health maximisation.

A broader capability approach, defined as wellbeing in terms of an individual's ability to 'do' and 'be', is warranted.  The UK and the Netherlands have recently adopted the capability approach as a framework for wellbeing measurement to evaluating health and social care. Ireland has the opportunity to join them as a leader in economic valuation through this project.

This project seeks to establish how the Irish population would value states of broader wellbeing as captured by the ICECAP measures of wellbeing. The results gathered from this research are intended to directly inform the national policy makers Department of Health (DoH), Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE), Health Service Executive (HSE) and many other stakeholders who are seeking to allocate health resources in a manner that would not take into account not just health, but broader concept of wellbeing.

By capturing broader wellbeing in economic evaluations in Ireland, this work provides frameworks to reconsider if, and how, to fund health technologies as most valued by the Irish population.

Award Date
26 June 2020
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Irena Kinchin
Host Institution
Trinity College Dublin
ARPP 2020