2012 Conference Presentation
Objective: Caring for older people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or other mental disorders is a salient issue in ageing societies and an essential aspect of social and health policies. A large and increasing part of this care is provided by the patient’s relatives or informal caregivers. Informal care is an important input of the health production function; from a societal perspective, its cost can be analyzed through direct, indirect and intangible costs. Valuing the intangible impacts of informal care remains a great challenge for economic evaluation. Hence the paper presents an original analysis of the economic value of informal care. Our main objective was to explore the association between informal caregivers’ willingness to pay (WTP) to be replaced and different aspects of both the burden and the benefits of caring.
Data & Methods: 201 people who cared for elderly patients suffering from AD, depression or “old age” were selected from the fourth wave of informal caregivers’ panel data collected by the French poll institute BVA associated with theNovartis Foundation. Informal caregivers’ characteristics which could influence ability or inability to estimate their WTP to be replaced were mapped using a multiple correspondence analysis (MCA). We ran binary and ordered logistic regressions to further analyze the WTP to be replaced on the one hand and the association between informal caregiver’s WTP and several variables which approximate burden and benefits of caring and socioeconomic variables on the other hand.
Results: Mapping of informal caregivers’ characteristics showed a clear distinction between the opportunity costs of caring dimension and that of intangible costs and benefits of caring. An inverse relation was found between ability to estimate WTP and intangible benefits from caring.