EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Severity of illness and priority setting in healthcare: A review of the literature

Koonal Shah ()

Health Policy, 2009, vol. 93, issue 2-3, 77-84

Abstract: Background It is widely assumed that the principal objective of healthcare is to maximise health. However, people may be willing to sacrifice aggregate health gain in order to direct resources towards those who are worst off in terms of the severity of their pre-treatment health state.Objectives This paper reviews the literature on severity in the context of economic evaluation, with the aim of establishing the extent to which popular preferences concerning severity imply a departure from the health maximisation objective.Methods Data were obtained using a keyword search of major databases and a hand search of articles written by leading researchers in the subject area.Results The empirical evidence suggests that people are, on the whole, willing to sacrifice aggregate health in order to give priority to the severely ill. However, there remain unresolved issues regarding the elicitation and interpretation of severity preferences (and indeed popular preferences generally).Conclusions The use of severity as a priority setting criterion is supported by a large number of empirical studies of popular preferences. Further work is needed, however, to accurately estimate the strength of this support.

Keywords: Health; care; rationing; Quality-adjusted; life; years; Severity; Health; maximisation; Public; preferences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (35) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168-8510(09)00211-5
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:93:y:2009:i:2-3:p:77-84

Access Statistics for this article

Health Policy is currently edited by Katrien Kesteloot, Mia Defever and Irina Cleemput

More articles in Health Policy from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

 
Page updated 2019-03-31
Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:93:y:2009:i:2-3:p:77-84