Economic analysis of service and delivery interventions in health care

M Sutton, Stephanie Garfield-Birkbeck, G Martin, R Meacock, S Morris, M Sculpher, A Street, Samuel Watson, Richard Lilford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evaluating service innovations in health care and public health requires flexibility, collaboration and pragmatism; this collection identifies robust, innovative and mixed methods to inform such evaluations.There are well-developed guidelines for economic evaluation of clearly defined clinical interventions, but no such guidelines for economic analysis of service interventions. Distinctive challenges for analysis of service interventions include diffuse effects, wider system impacts, and variability in implementation, costs and effects. Cost-effectiveness evidence is as important for service interventions as for clinical interventions. There is also an important role for wider forms of economic analysis to increase our general understanding of context, processes and behaviours in the care system. Methods exist to estimate the cost-effectiveness of service interventions before and after introduction, to measure patient and professional preferences, to reflect the value of resources used by service interventions, and to capture wider system effects, but these are not widely applied. Future priorities for economic analysis should be to produce cost-effectiveness evidence and to increase our understanding of how service interventions affect, and are affected by, the care system.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNIHR Journals Library
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


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