The Health Economics theme aims to improve health and wellbeing through improved decision-making. Our strategic focus is on economic evaluation and systematic reviews of a broad range of clinical and health service technologies by providing high-quality, applied, policy-relevant research, as well as developing and refining methods to increase the rigour and relevance of such studies.
Four streams of research underpin this theme:-
Evaluation of health technologies
We specialise in the evaluation of non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as medical devices, interventional procedures, screening and diagnostic tests. The methods we use include cost-effectiveness analysis modelling. We also conduct systematic reviews in a wide variety of health topics and alongside economic evaluations. Our research involves the development and testing of new methods of analysis and how economic evidence is used in decision-making.
The economics of public health
Research here has focused on the promotion of healthier lifestyles (eg. increased physical activity and tobacco control) and prevention of infectious disease. We work alongside before/after studies as well as clinical trials, using decision-modelling and econometric estimation. Methodological research tests alternative specifications for key economic variables in demand models, develops decision-support models for commissioners, and considers the incorporation of short-term and non-health benefits in economic evaluations.
Measurement and valuation of healthcare outcome
Our research includes measuring the impact of health interventions on people's quality of life and wellbeing. We also develop and use methods for eliciting preferences for different states of health and types of healthcare interventions. In addition, we work on the design of questionnaires to measure and value changes of health generally, and in people who have specific diseases. We are developing new research to account for the benefits of healthcare beyond health.
Evaluation of the payback from expenditure on research
This work develops, refines and applies methods for assessing the scientific and wider impact of health research. Our interationally acclaimed 'payback' framework has been used to assess research funded by, for example, the Medical Research Council and the Australian National Breast Cancer Foundation. Methodological research is focused on valueing benefits from research, and developing frameworks aimed at improving wellbeing beyond healthcare.