Estimating the value of social care
Increasingly, health economists are required to work across sectors when evaluating options for improving health, health care and well-being. Social care is a key sector which is both influenced by and influences the use and outcomes of health services. This paper reports on a developing approach to measuring social care outcome, designed to reflect outcomes across client groups. In this process it is important that we reflect the relative importance or value of these domains of outcome. This paper reports on a pilot study that investigated the feasibility of using discrete choice experiments to identify a financial "willingness to accept" valuation of a large number of domains and investigated factors associated with variations in respondents' preferences. We conclude that, while the domains themselves need further work, the approach provides a helpful starting point in the difficult issue of reflecting population preferences for a large number of social care outcome domains.
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