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Revista Española de Salud Pública

versão On-line ISSN 2173-9110versão impressa ISSN 1135-5727


MAREQUE, María  e  OLIVA MORENO, Juan. Social costs of diseases: How relevant are they for economic evaluations?. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2018, vol.92, e201808051.  Epub 22-Ago-2018. ISSN 2173-9110.


In the field of the economic evaluation (EE), there is an open debate on the most appropriate perspective to apply. Despite the relevance of the topic, there are hardly any studies that have analyzed the practical consequences of applying the social perspective vs. health care funder. The aim of this study was performed a systematic review of the available evidence to analyze whether the inclusion/exclusion of informal care and/or loss of productivity influence the results and conclusions of economic evaluations.


A systematic review of the literature was carried out using PubMed and Econlit databases, to determine the publications that contained EE on Alzheimer, Parkinson and Stroke. Inclusion criteria were: a) full EE of the diseases under study; b) from January 2006-July 2016; and c) in English or Spanish.


6,292 references were identified, of which 245 publications meet the selection criteria and were analyzed. After the full-text analysis, 20 references were selected, of which 27 full EE were obtained (20 corresponding to Alzheimer, 1 to Parkinson and 6 to Stroke). In 20 EE (74.1%) the change of the perspective modifies the results, becoming dominant or increasing the saving of the resources by comparing the alternatives from the social perspective. In the remaining 7, the inclusion of social costs involves an increase in the costs of the intervention evaluated against its control. In a single EE, the conclusions vary when including social costs.


The inclusion of social costs can modify the results of EE but their impact on the conclusions is not relevant.

Palavras-chave : Economic evaluation; Social costs; Loss of productivity; Informal care; Decision-making; Prioritization.

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