Implementing an evidence-based dementia care program in the Australian health context: A cost–benefit analysis

Miia Rahja, Kim Huong Nguyen, Kate Laver, Lindy Clemson, Maria Crotty, Tracy Comans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The World Health Organisation has called for the implementation of evidence-based interventions that enhance function and capability in people with dementia. In response, the Boosting Dementia Research Initiative in Australia has funded a number of projects aimed at improving such outcomes for people with dementia and their caregivers. What is not known is the economic and societal outcomes of these projects and of program implementation to the Australian healthcare system. The purpose of this study was to identify the costs and benefits of implementing an evidence-based reablement program within Australian health context. A well-used methodology familiar to governments and decision-makers was used to calculate the costs and benefits of implementing the program in Australia. Four different perspectives: market, private, efficiency (social) and referent group (key stakeholders) were considered in the cost–benefit evaluation. Almost A$6.2 million societal gain is presented through a social cost–benefit analysis. The referent (stakeholder) group analysis is used to demonstrate that people with dementia and their caregivers are the bearers of the costs and the Australian health and social care system gains the most from the program implementation. The results of this cost–benefit analysis suggest that there is a need to plan and provide subsidies or other financial incentives to assist people with dementia and their caregivers to engage in reablement programs in Australia; thus the whole society can be advantaged. Funding bodies and decision-makers are urged to recognise the potential societal benefits that can be achieved from participating in such reablement programs.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Early online date19 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 May 2020

Keywords

  • cost–benefit analysis
  • dementia
  • economic evaluation
  • occupational therapy
  • reablement

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