How to include informal care in economic evaluations

Pharmacoeconomics. 2013 Dec;31(12):1105-19. doi: 10.1007/s40273-013-0104-z.


Economic evaluations of health interventions aim to support decision making in healthcare. To effectively do so, evaluations need to include all relevant costs and effects of an intervention. Informal care provided by family or friends is an important element of care for many patients, but can have a profound impact on the health and well-being of carers. Therefore, informal care should be considered in economic evaluations of health interventions. Different methods to do so exist. This paper provides an overview of state-of-the-art methods available for this purpose, illustrated with practical examples. Since the choice of measurement and valuation technique depends on the type and perspective of the economic evaluation, this paper supports researchers in choosing the appropriate techniques to include informal care in their economic evaluation of a health intervention. We discuss the different approaches to measuring and valuing informal care, covering both partial and full valuation methods, allowing inclusion as costs or effects.

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers / economics*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Delivery of Health Care* / economics
  • Delivery of Health Care* / methods
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Models, Economic
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / economics
  • Patient Care / economics*
  • Patient Care / methods
  • Patient Care / standards
  • Quality of Life