Chapter 14: Methods for measuring the benefits of HIV/AIDS interventions
In this text we have covered the four main methods for carrying out economic evaluations of interventions in the health care field, cost minimization (CM), cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA), cost–utility analysis (CUA) and cost–benefit analysis (CBA). We followed this approach because the majority of those carrying out economic evaluations in the health care field do not use CBA. We wanted to show that using CM, CEA and CUA was effectively using an incomplete CBA methodology. By explaining what is missing from the other methods one could appreciate better what CBA has to offer. Nonetheless, as we have pointed out throughout the book, only a CBA can actually tell us what we need to know – is an evaluation socially worthwhile or not? Since all four evaluation methods use costs, what is important is how one measures benefits (B), that is, how one puts monetary valuations on outcomes. One conclusion very apparent from this text is that there is more than one way to estimate the benefits. In this last chapter we are going to present all the main methods for measuring benefits in the context of evaluations of intervening for one particular disease, HIV/AIDS. For each method we will present the advantages and disadvantages, and thereby indicate their relative strengths and weaknesses.
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