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

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Rahja, Miia
Kim-Huong, Nguyen
Laver, Kate
Clemson, Lindy
Crotty, Maria
Comans, Tracy
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2020
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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.

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Health and Social Care in the Community

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This publication has been entered in Griffith Research Online as an advanced online version.

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Health services and systems

Public health

Applied economics

Social work

cost-benefit analysis

dementia

economic evaluation

occupational therapy

reablement

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Rahja, M; Nguyen, K-H; Laver, K; Clemson, L; Crotty, M; Comans, T, Implementing an evidence-based dementia care program in the Australian health context: A cost-benefit analysis, Health and Social Care in the Community, 2020

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