IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Watchfully waiting: Medical intervention as an optimal investment decision

  • Meyer, Elisabeth
  • Rees, Ray
Registered author(s):

    Watchfully waiting involves monitoring a patient's health state over time and deciding whether to undertake a medical intervention, or to postpone it and continue observing the patient. In this paper, we consider the timing of medical intervention as an optimal stopping problem. The development of the patient's health state in the absence of intervention follows a stochastic process (geometric Brownian motion). Spontaneous recovery occurs in case the absorbing state of “good health” is reached. We determine optimal threshold values for initiating the intervention, and derive comparative statics results with respect to the model parameters. In particular, an increase in the degree of uncertainty over the patient's development in most cases makes waiting more attractive. However, this may not hold if the patient's health state has a tendency to improve. The model can be extended to allow for risk aversion and for sudden, Poisson-type shocks to the patient's health state.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167629612000094
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 349-358

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:2:p:349-358
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Arthur E. Attema & Anna K. Lugnér & Talitha L. Feenstra, 2010. "Investment in antiviral drugs: a real options approach," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(10), pages 1240-1254.
    2. Lasserre, Pierre & Moatti, Jean-Paul & Soubeyran, Antoine, 2006. "Early initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapies for AIDS: Dynamic choice with endogenous and exogenous learning," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 579-598, May.
    3. Friedman, Eric J. & Johnson, Simon, 1997. "Dynamic Monotonicity and Comparative Statics for Real Options," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 104-121, July.
    4. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
    5. Whynes, David K., 1995. "Optimal times of transfer between therapies: A mathematical framework," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 477-490, October.
    6. Palmer, Stephen & Smith, Peter C., 2000. "Incorporating option values into the economic evaluation of health care technologies," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 755-766, September.
    7. Murto, Pauli, 2007. "Timing of investment under technological and revenue-related uncertainties," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1473-1497, May.
    8. Shackleton, Mark B. & Sodal, Sigbjorn, 2005. "Smooth pasting as rate of return equalization," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 200-206, November.
    9. Paolo Pertile, 2008. "Investment in Health Technologies in a Competitive Model with Real Options," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(5), pages 923-952, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:2:p:349-358. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.