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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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  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernard van den Berg & Pol Spauwen, 2006. "Measurement of informal care: an empirical study into the valid measurement of time spent on informal caregiving," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 447-460.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:15:y:2006:i:5:p:447-460 DOI: 10.1002/hec.1075
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    1. Gronau, Reuben, 1987. "Home production -- A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 273-304 Elsevier.
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    3. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. K. Bolin & B. Lindgren & P. Lundborg, 2008. "Informal and formal care among single-living elderly in Europe," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 393-409.
    2. 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.
    3. Rapp, Thomas & Grand, Alain & Cantet, Christelle & Andrieu, Sandrine & Coley, Nicola & Portet, Florence & Vellas, Bruno, 2011. "Public financial support receipt and non-medical resource utilization in Alzheimer's disease results from the PLASA study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(8), pages 1310-1316, April.
    4. Juan Oliva-Moreno & Luz Peña-Longobardo & Cristina Vilaplana-Prieto, 2015. "An Estimation of the Value of Informal Care Provided to Dependent People in Spain," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 223-231, April.
    5. Torbica, Aleksandra & Calciolari, Stefano & Fattore, Giovanni, 2015. "Does informal care impact utilization of healthcare services? Evidence from a longitudinal study of stroke patients," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 29-38.
    6. Cristina Vilaplana Prieto & Sergi Jiménez-Martín, 2015. "Unmet needs in formal care: kindling the spark for caregiving behavior," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 153-184, June.
    7. David C. Grabowski & Edward C. Norton & Courtney H. Van Houtven, 2012. "Informal Care," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Second Edition, chapter 30 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Paul Hanly & Rebecca Maguire & Myles Balfe & Eleanor O’Sullivan & Linda Sharp, 2017. "Making Implicit Assumptions Explicit in the Costing of Informal Care: The Case of Head and Neck Cancer in Ireland," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 35(5), pages 591-601, May.
    9. 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.
    10. Kanika Arora & Douglas Wolf, 2014. "Is There a Trade-off Between Parent Care and Self-care?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(4), pages 1251-1270, August.
    11. Donna Rowen & Simon Dixon & Mónica Hernández-Alava & Clara Mukuria, 2016. "Estimating informal care inputs associated with EQ-5D for use in economic evaluation," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(6), pages 733-744, July.
    12. Sugawara, Shinya & Nakamura, Jiro, 2014. "Can formal elderly care stimulate female labor supply? The Japanese experience," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 98-115.
    13. Vladimir Spokoiny & Mayya Zhilova, 2013. "Sharp deviation bounds for quadratic forms," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2013-035, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    14. Luz Peña-Longobardo & Juan Oliva-Moreno, 2015. "Economic valuation and determinants of informal care to people with Alzheimer’s disease," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(5), pages 507-515, June.
    15. 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.
    16. Riewpaiboon, Arthorn & Riewpaiboon, Wachara & Ponsoongnern, Kanyarat & Van den Berg, Bernard, 2009. "Economic valuation of informal care in Asia: A case study of care for disabled stroke survivors in Thailand," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 648-653, August.
    17. van den Berg, Bernard & Fiebig, Denzil G. & Hall, Jane, 2014. "Well-being losses due to care-giving," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 123-131.
    18. Juan Oliva-Moreno & Marta Trapero-Bertran & Luz Maria Peña-Longobardo & Raúl del Pozo-Rubio, 2017. "The Valuation of Informal Care in Cost-of-Illness Studies: A Systematic Review," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 331-345, March.
    19. Dumont, Serge & Jacobs, Philip & Turcotte, Véronique & Anderson, Donna & Harel, François, 2010. "Measurement challenges of informal caregiving: A novel measurement method applied to a cohort of palliative care patients," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(10), pages 1890-1895, November.
    20. Manuel, Ruiz-Adame Reina & M. Carmen, González-Camacho & Alfredo Mainar-Causapé, 2015. "An analysis of caregiver profile and its impact on employment situation: primary caregivers of patients of Alzheimer´s and other dementias in the South Western of Spain," Economic Analysis Working Papers (2002-2010). Atlantic Review of Economics (2011-2016), Colexio de Economistas de A Coruña, Spain and Fundación Una Galicia Moderna, vol. 1, pages 1-1, December.
    21. Wilkinson-Meyers, Laura & Brown, Paul & McNeill, Robert & Patston, Philip & Dylan, Sacha & Baker, Ronelle, 2010. "Estimating the additional cost of disability: Beyond budget standards," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(10), pages 1882-1889, November.
    22. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_951 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Bauer, Jan Michael & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2015. "Impacts of Informal Caregiving on Caregiver Employment, Health, and Family," IZA Discussion Papers 8851, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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