A general model for the estimation of societal costs of lost production and informal care in Italy

Lorenzo Pradelli, Gianni Ghetti

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7175/fe.v18i1.1278


We developed a general model for estimating and comparing disease- and treatment-specific lost paid/unpaid production (due to premature death and reduced ability) and informal care received (due to reduced ability) in Italy, starting from survival, demographic and Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) data. Assuming the disease is not selecting a systematically different population in terms of mean wage than the general public, age- and gender-specific yearly production values are estimated combining data from the last Italian Time-Use-Survey on time dedicated to paid and unpaid (household, caring and volunteering) activities, with a) the last Italian Wage-Structure-Survey, for paid activities (Human Capital approach), and b) market prices for an equivalent service, for unpaid production (Proxy Good approach). To avoid double counting, age- and gender-specific maximum care needs are approximated with time dedicated to eating and personal care,
reported in TUS. Present monetary values of future productivity and informal care are estimated applying a 3.5% annual discount rate. Lost life years due to a particular condition/treatment are estimated by comparison of its survival curve with the corresponding age- and gender-normalized survival curve of the general Italian population. The degrees of reduced productivity and need for informal care for remaining life years are estimated by comparison of condition-/treatment-specific
reported HRQoL data with demographically matched Italian norms. Our results will be useful for cost-effectiveness and budget impact analyses conducted from the perspective of the Italian society and we encourage the inclusion of these costs in economic evaluations to allow decision makers to be fully informed about the costs and consequences of their decisions on healthcare interventions.


Indirect cost; Health-Related Quality of Life; Societal perspective; Yearly production value

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