In many research areas, scientists use computer models to study things of interest in the world. Recently, some studies have looked closely at computer models, and asked whether building them requires researchers to make ‘social value judgments’ (decisions about what is good for society, not just good from a scientific point of view). These studies showed that computer modelling does involve making social value judgments. However, they did not look specifically at health economics models, used to study health and healthcare spending.
In this project, researchers looked at social value judgements involved in building health economics models specifically. To do this, the researchers interviewed twenty-two health economists between February and May, 2019.
The project findings suggest that social value judgments are involved throughout health economics modelling.
Specifically, these judgments influence:
These results point to decisions that researchers should pay special attention to in health economics, particularly research that aims to incorporate patient and public values.
Harvard S, Werker G, Silva D. Social, ethical, and other value judgments in health economics modelling. Social Science & Medicine. Volume 253, 2020, 112975, ISSN 0277-9536. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.112975 (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953620301945)
Harvard S., Werker G., 2021. Health Economists on involving patients in modeling: potential benefits, harms, and variables of interest. PharmacoEconomics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40273-021-01018-5