The cost-of-illness (COI) studies convert the burdens associated with certain illnesses into economic and monetary values so as to measure the socioeconomic costs that are inevitably incurred by a given society in association with certain illnesses. The estimated costs provided by COI studies provide an important basis for estimating the amounts of public health resources spent and productivity losses incurred and thereby make it possible to quantify the socioeconomic burdens that illnesses impose on society in general. In this chapter, we review the diverse methodologies and techniques for estimating the socioeconomic burden of disease, which is widely used in the established literature all over the world, and compare the pros and cons of each. This chapter introduces the existing COI studies in terms of their research designs, data selection and value assessment processes, applied perspectives, and chosen components of costs. Furthermore, this chapter introduces a real-world example of estimating the national economic burden of disease by using the National Health Insurance (NHI) data. We hope that this chapter will help readers better understand and use the COI study.
Part of the book: Evaluation of Health Services