Outcome measurement in economic evaluations of public health interventions: a role for the capability approach?

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2010 May;7(5):2274-89. doi: 10.3390/ijerph7052274. Epub 2010 May 6.


Public health interventions have received increased attention from policy makers, and there has been a corresponding increase in the number of economic evaluations within the domain of public health. However, methods to evaluate public health interventions are less well established than those for medical interventions. Focusing on health as an outcome measure is likely to underestimate the impact of many public health interventions. This paper provides a review of outcome measures in public health; and describes the benefits of using the capability approach as a means to developing an all encompassing outcome measure.

Keywords: capability approach; economic evaluation; outcome measures; public health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Public Health Practice / economics*