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Glossary

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Clinical effectiveness

The application of interventions which have been shown to be efficacious to appropriate patients in a timely fashion to improve patients’ outcomes and value for the use of resources.

Confounder

“Confounding refers to a situation in which a measure of the effect of an intervention or exposure is distorted because of the association of exposure with other factor(s) that influence the outcome under investigation. This can lead to erroneous conclusions being drawn, particularly in observational studies”.

http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/booth/glossary/confound.html

Cost

The economic definition of cost (also known as opportunity cost) is the value of opportunity forgone, strictly the best opportunity forgone, as a result of engaging resources in an activity. Note that there can be a cost without the exchange of money. Also the economists’ notion of cost extends beyond the cost falling on the health service alone (e.g., includes costs falling on other services and on patients themselves).

Cost effectiveness analysis (CEA)

Aims to examine the costs of various approaches to achieving a specific health outcome. The analysis measures outcomes in ‘natural units’.

Cost utility analysis (CUA)

CUA aims to determine cost in terms of utilities, to say in quantity and quality of life. The incremental cost of a programme from a particular point of view is compared to the incremental health improvement expressed in the unit of quality adjusted life years (QALYs).

Cost-enefit analysis (CBA)

Aims to determine whether the economic value of an intervention can justify its costs, by comparing the cost of two or more alternatives and reviewing the return on investment.

Costs direct

All resources that are consumed in the provision of a health promotion programme. These may be incurred by the health promotion service, community, or clients.

Costs indirect

These relate to the losses to society incurred as a result of participating in the programme, such as the impact on production, domestic responsibilities, and social and leisure activities.

Costs Intangible

These relate to issues such as anxieties and impact on quality of life resulting from participation in the programme. These are generally difficult to measure and value and are often not included in the construction of the cost profile of an economic evaluation.


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