Health economics

SBU’s mission includes assessment of interventions in healthcare, social services, and functional impairment from an economic viewpoint. The economic perspective is important since society’s resources are limited. The combination of limited resources with an increasing demand for health and social care, an ageing population, and the continuous introduction of new treatments necessitates prioritizations between different treatments and care efforts. Together with other types of information, health economic evaluations can support these decision-making processes.

In the areas of social services and functional impairment, the terms health economics and health economic evaluations can be perceived as less relevant. In these areas it is more common to talk about economic aspects and economic evaluations, even though the types of analyses are similar.

How SBU addresses economic aspects

In SBU’s projects, health economic or economic aspects are usually considered through one or several of the following components:

  • Systematic reviews of existing scientific literature about cost-effectiveness, where included studies are assessed using SBU’s health economic checklists
  • In-house analyses of costs and cost-effectiveness
  • Budget impact analyses

Further information about health economics and SBU’s methods in the field can be found in a dedicated chapter of SBU’s handbook (in Swedish). There is also an article on health economics in our newsletter Medical and Social Science & Practice (in English). 

Additional tasks for SBU relating to health economics

  • Arrange seminars as part of the Network for Health Economics (NHE)
  • Teach about health economics and systematic reviews of health economic literature
  • Contribute to the methodological development within economic aspects in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and Social Intervention Assessment (SIA), both on a national and on an international level
  • Collaborate with other governmental organizations around methods for health economic evaluation

Links to Swedish sources

Below is a selection of sources that provide information relevant for the Swedish context, including guidelines for health economic evaluations, as well as Swedish registers for statistics and cost calculations (in Swedish).

Publications including health economic aspects

Selection of scientific publications based on SBU’s reports that include health economic aspects:

  • Berg J, Källén K, Andolf E, Hellström-Westas L, Ekéus C, Alvan J, et al. Economic Evaluation of Elective Cesarean Section on Maternal Request Compared With Planned Vaginal Birth—Application to Swedish Setting Using National Registry Data. Value in Health. 2022. Open access
  • Jonsson U, Linton SJ, Ybrandt H, Ringborg A, Leander L, Moberg K, et al. Internet-delivered psychological treatment as an add-on to treatment as usual for common mental disorders: A systematic review with meta-analysis of randomized trials. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2022. Open access
  • Lytsy P, Engström S, Ekstedt M, Engström I, Hansson L, Ali L, et al. Outcomes associated with higher relational continuity in the treatment of persons with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A systematic review. eClinicalMedicine. 2022;49. Open access
  • Rystedt JML, Wiss J, Adolfsson J, Enochsson L, Hallerbäck B, Johansson P, et al. Routine versus selective intraoperative cholangiography during cholecystectomy: systematic review, meta-analysis and health economic model analysis of iatrogenic bile duct injury. BJS Open. 2020. Open access
  • Mellstrand Navarro C, Brolund A, Ekholm C, Heintz E, Hoxha Ekstrom E, Josefsson PO, et al. Treatment of radius or ulna fractures in the elderly: A systematic review covering effectiveness, safety, economic aspects and current practice. PloS one. 2019;14(3):e0214362. Open access
  • Mellstrand Navarro C, Brolund A, Ekholm C, Heintz E, Hoxha Ekstrom E, Josefsson PO, et al. Treatment of humerus fractures in the elderly: A systematic review covering effectiveness, safety, economic aspects and evolution of practice. PLoS One 2018;13:e0207815. Open access
  • Heintz E, Gerber-Grote A, Ghabri S, Hamers FF, Rupel VP, Slabe-Erker R, et al. Is There a European View on Health Economic Evaluations? Results from a Synopsis of Methodological Guidelines Used in the EUnetHTA Partner Countries. Pharmacoeconomics 2016;34:59-76. Read abstract