Measuring and Valuing Informal Care for Economic Evaluation of HIV/AIDS Interventions: methods and Application in Malawi

Levison S. Chiwaula, Paul Revill, Deborah Ford, Misheck Nkhata, Travor Mabugu, James Hakim, Cissy Kityo, Adrienne K. Chan, Fabian Cataldo, Diana Gibb, Bernard van den Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
Economic evaluation studies often neglect the impact of disease and ill health on the social network of people living with HIV (PLHIV) and the wider community. An important concern relates to informal care requirements which, for some diseases such as HIV/AIDS, can be substantial.
Objectives
To measure and value informal care provided to PLHIV in Malawi.
Methods
A modified diary that divided a day into natural calendar changes was used to measure informal care time. The monetary valuation was undertaken by using four approaches: opportunity cost (official minimum wage used to value caregiving time), modified opportunity cost (caregiver’s reservation wage), willingness to pay (amount of money caregiver would pay for care), and willingness to accept (amount of money caregiver would accept for providing care to someone else) approaches. Data were collected from 130 caregivers of PLHIV who were accessing antiretroviral therapy from six facilities in Phalombe district in southeast Malawi.
Results
Of the 130 caregivers, 62 (48%) provided informal care in the survey week. On average, caregivers provided care of 8 h/wk. The estimated monetary values of informal care provided per week were US $1.40 (opportunity cost), US $2.41 (modified opportunity cost), US $0.40 (willingness to pay), and US $2.07 (willingness to accept).
Conclusions
Exclusion of informal care commitments may be a notable limitation of many applied economic evaluations. This work demonstrates that inclusion of informal care in economic evaluations in a low-income context is feasible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-78
Number of pages6
JournalValue in Health Regional Issues
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes

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