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Measurement of informal care: an empirical study into the valid measurement of time spent on informal caregiving

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Author Info

  • Bernard van den Berg

    (Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation, Faculty of Business, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia)

  • Pol Spauwen

    (Department for Prevention and Health Services Research, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands)

Abstract

The incorporation of informal care into economic evaluations of health care is troublesome. The debate focuses on the valuation of time spent on informal caregiving, while time measurement, a related and may be even a more important issue, tends to be neglected. Valid time measurement is a necessary condition for the valuation of informal care. In this paper, two methods of time measurement are compared and evaluated: the diary, which is considered the gold standard, and the recall method, which is applied more often. The main objective of this comparison is to explore the validity of the measurement of time spent on providing informal care. In addition, this paper gives empirical evidence regarding the measurement of joint production and the separation between 'normal' housework and additional housework due to the care demands of the care recipients. Finally, the test-retest stability for the recall method is assessed. A total of 199 persons giving informal care to a heterogeneous population of care recipients completed the diary and the recall questionnaire. Corrected for joint production, informal caregivers spent almost 5.8 h a day on providing informal care. If one assumes that respondents take into account joint production when completing the recall questionnaire, the recall method is a valid instrument to measure time spent on providing informal care compared to the diary. Otherwise, the recall method is likely to overestimate the time spent on providing informal care. Moreover, the recall method proves to be unstable over time. This could be due to learning effects from completing a diary. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1075
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 447-460

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:15:y:2006:i:5:p:447-460

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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References

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  1. Reuben Gronau & R. Layard, . "Home Production - A Survey," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 85-2, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  2. Wimo, Anders & von Strauss, Eva & Nordberg, Gunilla & Sassi, Franco & Johansson, Lennarth, 2002. "Time spent on informal and formal care giving for persons with dementia in Sweden," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 255-268, September.
  3. Bernard Berg & Werner Brouwer & Marc Koopmanschap, 2004. "Economic valuation of informal care," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 36-45, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Shinya Sugawara & Jiro Nakamura, 2014. "Can Formal Elderly Care Stimulate Female Labor Supply? The Japanese Experience," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-924, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  2. K. Bolin & B. Lindgren & P. Lundborg, 2007. "Informal and Formal Care among Single-living Elderly in Europe," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-031/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Berta Rivera & Bruno Casal & Luis Currais, 2008. "Estudio económico del tiempo de cuidado informal como factor de producción de salud en el enfermo de Alzheimer no institucionalizado," Economic Reports 16-08, FEDEA.
  4. Konstantin Kehl & Stephan Stahlschmidt, 2013. "A new perspective on the economic valuation of informal caare: The well-being approach revisited," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2013-035, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  5. Bernard van den Berg & Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2007. "Monetary valuation of informal care: the well-being valuation method," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(11), pages 1227-1244.
  6. Hassink, Wolter H.J. & Van den Berg, Bernard, 2011. "Time-bound opportunity costs of informal care: Consequences for access to professional care, caregiver support, and labour supply estimates," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(10), pages 1508-1516.

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