This study assesses the affordability of a nutritious diet for households in Toronto that are supported by welfare.
For three hypothetical households, welfare incomes were compared to the monthly costs for food, shelter, and other essential expenditures in Toronto.
If households lived in market rental accommodation, average monthly incomes were insufficient to cover expenses for the single-person household and two-parent family, and barely adequate for the single-parent family considered in this study. However, the single-parent family's actual income fell below expenses for six months of the year. For households with children, the relative inadequacy of welfare increased as children grew older. Living in rent-geared-to-income housing afforded substantial financial advantage, but the welfare income of single-person households was still insufficient to meet basic needs.
These findings indicate discrepancies between welfare incomes and costs of basic needs, which may explain the vulnerability of welfare recipients to food insecurity.
Public Interest Alberta's Seniors Task Force members are deeply concerned about the privatization of long-term care in Alberta that began during the Klein era. The move away from publicly funded and publicly administered long-term care is accelerating under the leadership of Premier Ed Stelmach. In making this shift, government will harvest short-term gain that can only result in long-term pain for people in need of such services.
Economic evaluations generally fail to incorporate elements of intangible costs and benefits, such as anxiety and discomfort associated with the screening test and diagnostic test, as well as the magnitude of utility associated with a reduction in the risk of dying from cancer. In the present analysis, 750 respondents were interviewed and asked to rank, according to priority, a number of alternative screening programme set-ups. Focus was on colorectal cancer screening and breast cancer screening. The alternative programmes varied with respect to number of tests performed, risk reduction obtained, probability of a false positive outcome and extent of co-payment. Stated preferences were analysed using discrete ranking modelling and the relative weighting of the programme attributes identified. Applying discrete choice methods to elicit preferences within this area of health care seems justified by the face validity of the results. The signs of the coefficients are in accordance with a priori hypotheses. This paper suggests that large-scale surveys focusing on individuals' preferences for cancer screening programmes may contribute significantly to the quality of economic evaluations within this field of health care.
The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of specific components of Andersen's behavioural model on adult individuals' perceived oral treatment need.
A questionnaire was sent to a randomly selected sample of 9,690 individuals, 20 to 89 years old, living in Skåne, Sweden. The 58 questions, some with follow-up questions, were answered by 6,123 individuals; a 63% response rate. Selected for inclusion in the multivariate logistic regression analysis were those questions relating to Andersen's behavioural model, phase five. Responses to "How do you rate your oral treatment need today?" were used as a dependent variable. The 62 questions chosen as independent variables represented the components: individual characteristics, health behaviour and outcomes in the model.
Of the independent variables, 24 were significant at the p
One of the most serious sources of potential bias when using the contingent valuation (CV) method to assess willingness to pay (WTP) is implied-value cues, i.e., different types of starting-point bias. The possible existence of starting-point bias is serious, since it may be interpreted to mean that the responders' preferences are very unstable. While the empirical evidence from environmental economics on starting-point bias is mixed, an earlier study in health economics did not find any clear evidence of starting-point bias. However, in the study presented here, a clear presence of starting-point bias was found. In a Swedish survey of how and when patients take antisecretory drugs, the patients were asked about their willingness to pay for a medication that can be taken in relation to meals compared with one that must be taken at least one hour before meals and has the additional disadvantage that it interacts with contraceptive pills. Among the 105 respondents, 82 were willing to pay a sum in addition to the normal patient fee in order to obtain the drug that could be taken during meals. The 82 patients thereafter participated in the bidding game that could start at a low bid (SEK 20) or a high bid (SEK 1,000). On average, the patients were willing to pay an additional SEK 138 (1 SEK = 0.13 U.S. dollar, April 1995) to obtain the superior drug. However, the average WTP among the 42 patients who started at the low bid was 70 SEK, which should be compared to an average of 289 SEK among the 40 patients who initially were offered the high bid.
Ontario cancer patients' monthly out-of-pocket costs (OOPC) were assessed to determine whether these costs were problematic. A self-administered questionnaire was administered to breast (n = 74), colorectal (n = 70), lung (n = 68) and prostate (n = 70) cancer patients between October 2001 and April 2003. It measured categorical OOPC, which were analysed using linear regression modelling, to determine whether any of a variety of independent variables influenced OOPC. Monthly OOPC (mean, range) were: parking/fares ($47, $0-450), devices ($46, $0-2350), prescription drugs ($45, $0-1400), accommodation ($43, $0-1500), complementary and alternative medicine ($29, $0-5000), vitamins ($25, $0-400), homemaking ($14, $0-1000), family care ($12, $0-1200), homecare ($2, $0-330) and other ($8, $0-250), with the total averaging $213 ($0-5230). Imputed travel mileage costs added $372 ($0-6180). Most patients were well served by the current healthcare programmes. In multivariate analysis, variables influencing several OOPC categories were: tumour site, hospitalization, age, and number of clinic trips. Travel costs proved the most problematic, with patients under 65 years and without insurance more likely to have high OOPC. Education and income were not reliable predictors for high OOPC. Many of these costs were for items not traditionally covered by public healthcare financing systems, raising important issues around defining 'medically necessary' care and the role of government.
Preventive home visits are offered to community dwelling older people in Denmark aimed at maintaining their functional ability for as long as possible, but only two thirds of older people accept the offer from the municipalities. The purpose of this study is to investigate 1) whether socioeconomic status was associated with acceptance of preventive home visits among older people and 2) whether municipality invitational procedures for the preventive home visits modified the association.
The study population included 1,023 community dwelling 80-year-old individuals from the Danish intervention study on preventive home visits. Information on preventive home visit acceptance rates was obtained from questionnaires. Socioeconomic status was measured by financial assets obtained from national registry data, and invitational procedures were identified through the municipalities. Logistic regression analyses were used, adjusted by gender.
Older persons with high financial assets accepted preventive home visits more frequently than persons with low assets (adjusted OR = 1.5 (CI95%: 1.1-2.0)). However, the association was attenuated when adjusted by the invitational procedures. The odds ratio for accepting preventive home visits was larger among persons with low financial assets invited by a letter with a proposed date than among persons with high financial assets invited by other procedures, though these estimates had wide confidence intervals.
High socioeconomic status was associated with a higher acceptance rate of preventive home visits, but the association was attenuated by invitational procedures. The results indicate that the social inequality in acceptance of publicly offered preventive services might decrease if municipalities adopt more proactive invitational procedures.
Cites: Am J Public Health. 2000 May;90(5):799-80310800435
Physicians' decisions whether or not to veto generic substitution were analyzed using a sample of 350,000 pharmaceutical prescriptions from the county of Västerbotten, Sweden. Although generic substitution reforms have been introduced in many European countries and American states, this is to my knowledge the first study on this topic. The topic is important since physicians' decisions regarding generic substitution not only directly affect patients' and insurers' costs for pharmaceuticals, but also indirectly since more bans against substitution reduces price-competition between pharmaceutical firms. The primary purpose was to test if physicians working at private practices were more likely to oppose substitution than county-employed physicians working on salary. It was found that private physicians were 50-80% more likely to veto substitution. Also, the probability of a veto was found to increase as patients' copayments decreased. This might indicate moral hazard in insurance, though other explanations are plausible.
This study sought to contribute to the existing literature on pandemic influenza vaccination studies by providing additional evidences of households' willingness to pay (WTP) for protection against influenza during a pandemic situation from North America.
A standard dichotomous-choice contingent valuation survey was designed and completed in a sample of 306 individuals living in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada.
This study shows that, on average, households are willing to pay $417.35 for immediate pandemic influenza (H1N1) vaccination. Results show that the vaccine price, age, gender, occupation, organisation, annual family income, receiving annual flu shot, having additional insurance, having someone with a serious illness in the house, knowledge about pandemics, trusting official information on pandemics, supporting government expenditure, and rating government pandemic planning have significant effects on the decision to accept the vaccine bids.
The results reconfirm the findings of similar studies that influenza vaccine programmes are highly cost-effective despite the high programme cost, because people's WTP (benefits) for this programme is much higher than the actual costs. Pandemic influenza vaccination programmes should consider the demographic and economic status of the target population as such characteristics have significant impacts on the benefits that people place on such programmes.