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Is better public health worth the price? - A health economic evaluation of increased staffing in home care

Research project High unemployment rates and burnout due to high work load are two big public health problems in Sweden

Research clearly shows a worsened health for the unemployed and long-term negative health consequences for unemployed youth. During the latest decades, the unemployment in Sweden has doubled. At the same time the health situation for the employed has also worsened. Obviously, more job opportunities within the Swedish labor market would be needed as well as the need to lessen the burden for many who are employed. Has the efficiency way of thinking been taken too far? Is it now instead time to increase the staff in our workplaces? The aim with our project is to evaluate if the health-related advantages, through the implementation of more job opportunities in a particular work area, are justified from a cost perspective. We have chosen to concentrate on home care, a sector from which recurrent reports about a too high work burden exist. Two comprehensive surveys are planned. The specific research questions that will be covered in the surveys are: i) the short- and long-term health consequence from unemployment, and ii) the health consequence from high work load. Through use of the validated instrument Euroqol 5 dimensions it will be possible to determine the so called “quality-adjusted life years”. The health economic evaluation calculates the cost per gained quality-adjusted life year for the intervention “more job opportunities within home care”. The results from the evaluation are possible to relate and compare with other interventions within the health care field. The planned studies and the analysis that will be performed within the framework of this project can contribute with knowledge, useful to apply to future public health research and also highly useful for decision makers within health and care.

Head of project

Fredrik Norström
Associate senior lecturer (assistant professor)
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period

2016-01-01 2018-12-31

Funding

Finansår , 2016, 2017, 2018

huvudman: Fredrik Norström, finansiar: Forte, y2016: 800, y2017: 800, y2018: 630,

Research subject

Public health and health care science

Project description

High unemployment rates and burnout due to high work load are two big public health problems in Sweden where improvements are needed. Research clearly shows a worsened health for the unemployed and long-term negative health consequences for unemployed youth. During the latest decades, the unemployment in Sweden has doubled. At the same time the health situation for the employed has also worsened, resulting in more sick leave and confirmed cases of burnout.
Obviously, more job opportunities within the Swedish labor market would be needed as well as the need to lessen the burden for many who are employed. Has the efficiency way of thinking been taken too far? Is it now instead time to increase the staff in our workplaces?

The aim with our project is to evaluate if the health-related advantages, through the implementation of more job opportunities in a particular work area, are justified from a cost perspective. We have chosen to concentrate on home care, a sector from which recurrent reports about a too high work burden exist. Two comprehensive surveys are planned. The specific research questions that will be covered in the surveys are: i) the short- and long-term health consequence from unemployment, and ii) the health consequence from high work load. Through use of the validated instrument Euroqol 5 dimensions it will be possible to determine the so called “quality-adjusted life years”. The health economic evaluation calculates the cost per gained quality-adjusted life year for the intervention “more job opportunities within home care”. The results from the evaluation are possible to relate and compare with other interventions within the health care field.

The planned studies and the analysis that will be performed within the framework of this project can contribute with knowledge, useful to apply to future public health research and also highly useful for decision makers within health and care.