Background: This paper reports the methods and findings from a systematic review of economic evaluations conducted in the community aged care sector between 2000 and 2016.
Methods: Online databases searched were PubMed, Medline, Scopus, and web of science, CINAHL and informit. Studies were included if they 1) were full economic evaluations that compared both the costs and outcomes of two or more interventions 2) in study population of people aged 65 years and over 3) dependent older people living in the community 4) alternatives being compared were care models or service delivery interventions in the community aged care sector (a group of programs that have been established as a support system to allow older people to remain living in their own homes for as long as possible, as an alternative to institutional or residential care) and 5) published in the English language between 2000 and November 2016.
Results: Eleven studies reporting upon economic evaluations of service delivery interventions in community aged care were identified; the majority of which were undertaken in Europe. Critical appraisal of the identified studies highlighted the methodological rigour in these evaluations.
Conclusion: This systematic review highlights the paucity of economic evaluation studies conducted to date in the community aged care sector. The findings highlight the importance of cost utility analysis methodology as it allows for a uniform outcome measure, that facilitates the comparison of different interventions. In addition, multi-attribute utility measures that represent those quality of life domains that are most important to older people should be used and attention must be paid to the inclusion of informal care costs and outcomes as this is a key resource in community aged care service delivery.
Keywords: Aged; Community aged care; Economic evaluation; Systematic review.