Economic evaluation methods used in home-visiting interventions: A systematic search and review

A review article by Dr Cate Bailey from the Health Economics Unit has been published in the Journal of Health and Social Care in the Community, in conjunction with colleagues at the Health and Social Care Unit, Monash University.

In this paper we aimed to explore methods used in economic analyses of home visiting interventions where the population was children, young people and families. We were specifically interested in study design and economic methods where randomised controlled trials are not feasible as well as the types of costs collected. Given that economic analysis in the social care sector uses methods developed in healthcare, we were interested in how these were adapted and whether there were any novel economic methods used. We conducted a systematic review, and found that of the 21 included papers, most used cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, cost-comparison and cost-consequence analysis. Where individual randomisation was not feasible, cluster randomised trials and pre-post intervention study designs were used. The outcomes of this review were subsequently used to inform a cost-effectiveness analysis of a family preservation program.