Health Economics Research Group
Research interests We investigate decision-making in social and health care at different levels of the society. Our research related to consumers decision-making is focused on consumers’ choices and decision-making related to social and health services and medicine use, with a focus on consumer behavior, preferences, and demand for health services. We study decision-making also at the organizational level focusing on the implementation of clinical guidelines and the decision-making of physicians and managers. In particular, we are interested in the use of cost-effectiveness information in clinical decision-making and the effects of clinical guidelines on medicine prescribing. In addition, we examine physicians’ adherence to clinical guidelines and factors involved in the treatment decisions. We evaluate the economic and social sustainability of policies and the cost-effectiveness of social and health care services and interventions to support societal decision-making. We have strong expertise in economic evaluation, and our aim is to explore the willingness-to-pay threshold in Finland. Threshold is required to interpret results of cost-utility analysis. Objective Our aim is to provide knowledge of well-being in the society and economic and social sustainability. Our research focus is in the social and health care and pharmaceutical markets, and we conduct research related to different populations. In particular, our research focuses on older long-term care and home care clients, multimorbidity, children and adolescents, and mental health promotion. Theoretical and methodological competence Our research group has strong expertise in the theory of health economics and general economics, especially in the economics of welfare, industrial economics and production theory. We study the supply, utilization and demand of social and health care services, and the themes related to health equity, i.e. health and socioeconomic equality. We apply industrial economics to study social and health care market structures and the connection between producer ownership and quality, costs and service structure. We study the performance of the health care system, and its determinants, using production theory of efficiency analysis. Our research group has extensive expertise in econometrics and statistics. In particular, in applied econometrics, quasi-experimental methods and the utilization of national registers. We conduct economic evaluations of social and health care services and interventions based on experimental methods (controlled and observational settings), registry studies, decision-modelling and systematic reviews. In addition, we use a broad range of other quantitative and qualitative methods in our research. Collaboration Our research is multidisciplinary, and we work in collaboration with various fields of sciences, such as pharmacy, sports medicine, medicine, psychology, health science, statistics, and social sciences. We also collaborate with various research organizations and well-being services counties. Our current partners are The Finnish Medical Society Duodecim, The Finnish Centre for Pensions, The Finnish Medicines Agency, The Social Insurance Institution of Finland, The Labour Institute for Economic Research, The Finnish Medical Association, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, VATT Institute for Economic Research, Universities of Helsinki, Oulu, Tampere and Turku. Our research group is part of The Effectiveness of Social and Health Services (EFFECTIVENESS) research community, which comprises top-level researchers and experts in effectiveness research. The research community produces effectiveness and cost-effectiveness knowledge based on scientific research on social and health services and the promotion of health and well-being. In addition, we coordinate National Implementation Research Network in the EFFECTIVENESS research community. Our PhD students take part in the Welfare, Health and Management (WELMA) doctoral programme.