Background Informal care is often not included in economic evaluations in healthcare, while the impact of caregiving can be relevant for cost-effectiveness recommendations from a societal perspective. The impact of informal care can be measured and valued with the CarerQol instrument, which measures the impact of informal care on seven important burden dimensions (CarerQol-7D) and values this in terms of general quality of life (CarerQol-VAS). The CarerQol can be included at the effect side of multi-criteria analyses of patient interventions or in cost-effectiveness or utility analysis of interventions targeted at caregivers.
Objective At present, utility scores based on relative utility weights for the CarerQol-7D are only available for the Netherlands. This study calculates CarerQol-7D tariffs for Australia, Germany, Sweden, UK, and US.
Methods Data were collected among the general population in Australia, Germany, Sweden, UK, and US by an Internet survey. Utility weights were collected with a discrete choice experiment with two unlabeled alternatives described in terms of the seven CarerQol-7D dimensions. An efficient experimental design with priors obtained from the Netherlands was used to create the choice sets. Data was analyzed with a panel mixed multinomial logit model with random parameters.
Results In all five countries, the CarerQol-7D dimensions were significantly associated with the utility of informal care situations. Physical health problems were most strongly associated with the utility for informal care situations. The tariff was constructed by adding up the relative utility weights per category of all CarerQol-7D dimensions for each country separately.
Conclusion The CarerQol tariffs for Australia, Germany, Sweden, UK, and US facilitate the inclusion of informal care in economic evaluations.