Economic Evaluation of Interventions for Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Opportunities and Challenges

Economic evaluation is a tool used to inform decision makers on the efficiency of comparative healthcare interventions and inform resource allocation decisions. There is a growing need for the use of economic evaluations to assess the value of interventions for children with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), a population that has increasing demands for healthcare services. Unfortunately, few evaluations have been conducted to date, perhaps stemming from challenges in applying existing economic evaluation methodologies in this heterogeneous population. Opportunities exist to innovate methods to address key challenges in conducting economic evaluations of interventions for children with NDDs. In this paper, we discuss important considerations and highlight areas for future work. This includes the paucity of appropriate instruments for measuring outcomes meaningful to children with NDDs and their families, difficulties in the measurement of costs due to service utilization in a wide variety of sectors, complexities in the measurement of caregiver and family effects and considerations in estimating long-term productivity costs. Innovation and application of evaluation approaches in these areas will help inform decisions around whether the resources currently spent on interventions for children with NDDs represent good value for money, or whether greater benefits for children could be generated by spending money in other ways.

Year of Publication: 2017

Authors: Ramesh Lamsal, Jennifer Zwicker