Home > SCIE’s approach to economic evaluation in social care.

Francis, Jennifer and Byford, Sarah (2011) SCIE’s approach to economic evaluation in social care. London: Social Care Institute for Excellence. Adults' services SCIE report 52.

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This report forms part of SCIE’s wider work on economics. It presents SCIE’s position on how economic evaluations should be undertaken, and the results used, to inform decision-making in the social care sector.

It sets out SCIE’s view of how economic evaluation should be undertaken in the social care sector. Five key statements are listed below, with detailed discussion about each in the main body of this report.

1. Economic evaluations of social care should adopt a broad analytic perspective examining the impact of an intervention on all relevant stakeholders, including people who use services and their families.
2. An economic evaluation in social care should measure outcomes that are defined from the perspective of people who use services and their carers. Few single-index, preference-based outcome measures currently exist in social care. Those that do are relatively new and validity and reliability are still being tested. In the meantime, evaluators should demonstrate how, when measuring outcomes, they have taken account of the views of people who use services and their carers.
3. Economic evaluations in social care should always value the cost of unpaid care associated with the services or interventions under evaluation. A range of methods for valuing unpaid care exist and SCIE advocates the chosen valuation method should be clearly justified and, given ongoing debates, the sensitivity of the results to alternative methods should be tested. If a decision is taken not to value unpaid care, this should be clearly justified.
4. When synthesising results from economic evaluations it may be necessary to consider studies in different settings to the one being evaluated, and in doing so, evaluators should demonstrate how they have taken account of transferability issues between and within countries. Resource use data should be extracted from relevant studies at the synthesis stage, even if they do not constitute full or partial economic evaluations.
5. To address equity implications of resource allocation, economic evaluation should describe the costs and benefits of interventions for different subgroups of the population and present the findings separately.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
December 2011
Identification #
Adults' services SCIE report 52
27 p.
Social Care Institute for Excellence
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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