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Health economic evaluation methods, 5 Credits

Swedish name: Hälsoekonomiska utvärderingsmetoder

This syllabus is valid: 2019-11-04 and until further notice

Course code: 3FH042

Credit points: 5

Education level: Second cycle

Grading scale: Three-grade scale

Revised by: Programme council for Master Programmes in Public Health, 2019-10-02


At the start of the course issues in moral philosophy are discussed in relation to principles of economics concerning the prioritization of resources to health. Then, the four most common health economic evaluation methods are analyzed. These methods are cost analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-utility analysis and cost-benefit analysis. These methods are being used to answer questions of the following type: Should a new drug replace an old one? Is it cost-effective? Should a prevention program for a certain disease be started? Is it worth the cost? How are priorities made in health care and in which way can economic analysis contribute to the basis for decision-making?
This is followed by a discussion about methods used to critically analyze articles and reports about health economic evaluations. Also, the question about how to present such studies is discussed. In addition to this, measures on the disease burden in different societies are analyzed in relation to measures of health related quality of life. Special attention is given to equity considerations as well as the theoretical background of health economic evaluation in terms of welfarism and extra-welfarism.
In the later part of the course the students individually make a written plan for a health economic evaluation, which is presented and discussed at a seminar.

Expected learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
After this course the student is expected to:
-    Explain and compare the four most common health economic evaluation methods, including both societal perspectives and budgetary implications for operations
-    Explain and discuss the ethical base of health economic evaluation

Skills and Abilities
After this course the student is expected to:
-    Motivate, for a given health intervention, which would be the most appropriate method of evaluation when studying the cost-effectiveness of the intervention
-    Critically review and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of health economic evaluations published in scientific journals
-    Independently identify a health economic problem suitable for an evaluation and make a plan for the evaluation specifying the method to be used
-    Present and discuss the plan in a seminar and also discuss plans made by other students

Judgement and approach
After this course the student is expected to:
-    Make assessments of health economic evaluations in relation to the ethical base for prioritization within the health sector

Required Knowledge

For non-programme students applying as single-course students, the requirements are 120 ECTS, of which a minimum of 30 ECTS are within one of the following: health sciences, environmental health or social sciences. English proficiency equivalent to English B/6 from Swedish Upper secondary education.

Form of instruction

The teaching on the course is concentrated to the first two weeks of the three week long course period. The teaching is given in the form of lectures, group- and computer exercises, and seminars. During the third course week the students present their plans for a health economic evaluation at seminars where each student also serves as an opponent of a plan presented by another student.

Examination modes

The assessment of whether the student has attained the expected learning outcomes is done in two different ways through dividing the examination into two parts. At the end of the third course week there is a written exam. During the third course week the students individually make a plan for a health economic evaluation of a specific intervention in health care. The plan is submitted in written form at the end of the third course week. The grading scale is Fail, Pass, and Pass with distinction for the written exam. For the evaluation plan the grade is either Fail or Pass. In order to be awarded Pass for the course, the grade Pass is required both for the written exam and the evaluation plan. In order to be awarded Pass with distinction for the course, the grade Pass with distinction is required for the written exam and the grade Pass for the evaluation plan.
The course is graded with, PD (Pass with distinction), P (Pass), F (Fail)
It is only permitted to complete a non- approved results to approved, completion of higher rating is not allowed. If the student wishes the hen right to conduct re-examination and thus have the opportunity to get higher grades than approved.
If there are special reasons, the examiner has the right to decide whether another form of examination can be used. Students who do not pass the regular examinations are offered further examination. Students who receive a passing grade may not take the test again. A student who has failed two tests for a course or a part of a class, are entitled to have another examiner appointed, unless there are specific reasons against it. Written request must be submitted to the director of studies.

Other regulations

Start-of-study respite
A respite for the start of studies may be granted under special circumstances. Examples of such circumstances are illness, military service, pregnancy, care of children or other nursing responsibilities etc.

A negative decision about start-of-study respite may be appealed to Överklagandenämnden för högskolan.

Course roll call
Attendance is compulsory for the course roll call. A student may be relieved from this obligation only through a decision by the course coordinator and only under special circumstances. Non-attendance without a valid reason may lead to the seat being given to another applicant. A decision about this is made by the course coordinator.

Students have the right to examine whether previous education or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired can be credited for the corresponding course at Umeå University. Application is submitted to Studentcentrum/Examina. Details on crediting can be found at Umeå University's student web, www.student.umu.se , and the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 6) . A refusal of accreditation may be appealed against (Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 12 ) to the University Appeals Board. This applies to the whole or part of the application for accreditation is refused.


The literature list is not available through the web. Please contact the faculty.