What are the methods and theoretical issues involved in valuing the health outcomes and
costs of a specific New Zealand health intervention or policy? Your task is firstly to select a health intervention or policy from the New Zealand health system. You should then proceed to describe your health intervention/policy in enough detail for the reader to understand the intervention/policy, and to demonstrate your own understanding. Proceed to describe the appropriate method(s) and comparators for your intervention/policy. You do not need to describe method in detail, just mention research question, possible method and possible comparators. Following this, you should describe the methods and theoretical issues that might be involved in
valuing first the benefits of your health intervention, followed by a section describing the methods
and theoretical issues involved in estimating the costs of your health intervention. You do not need to
value these. Your goal is to show that you understand what the benefits and costs of a given
intervention/policy are, and how you might go about collecting these data. The emphasis should be
on demonstrating your knowledge and class material from weeks 8-11.
NOTE: Avoid the trap of deviating from the topic and entering into a detailed discussion of the
methods of economic evaluation (e.g. CUA, CEA). Keep this brief and sufficient to make clear the
perspective and approach you are recommending/assessing.
The report should be 2,000 words that are well-cited (approx. 15 citations) and structured (see
instructions). The report should be original work, and should demonstrate your ability to apply
economic tools and theories learned in class, analyse real-world research questions and communicate
your analysis. The report structure and guidelines are described below.
Marks are awarded for:
• A brief but informative abstract/introduction (5%)
• A concise description of the health issue, and relevance to economics (10%)
• Brief discussion of method & comparators (10%)
• Detailed description of the benefits of your intervention (25%)
• Detailed description of the costs of your intervention (25%)
• Effective delivery of material, including tables/graphs (5%)
• Use of evidence to support your argument(s), including thorough citation (10%)
• Well structured, written and formatted report (10%)
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, attend my office hours or ask during class if you have any
Full Report structure and guidelines:
Title page: Including title, author, student ID and course number (178.718)
Abstract/Introduction: Briefly summarizing the report, including research question and findings.
Health issue: Briefly describe health issue you are investigating. Focus on factors that are likely to
have an economic impact E.g. What services are provided? What factors are important?
Approach: Briefly describe the method that you might use to undertake the assessment. Include
some potential comparators and/or how you would decide whether to adopt the intervention.
Valuing the health outcomes/benefits: Provide a detailed description of the benefits/outcomes of
your selected policy/intervention. Describe the methods and theoretical issues involved in
understanding these benefits. You may describe these in relation to a comparator intervention.
Valuing the costs: Provide a detailed description of the costs of your selected policy/intervention.
Describe the methods and theoretical issues involved in understanding these costs. You may
describe these in relation to a comparator intervention.
Conclusion: Summarise your report and findings.
References: Not included in word limit. Use APA.
The research report should be 2000 words ± 10%
Marks may be deducted outside of this range
As a guide, text should be formatted as 11pt Calibri/times new roman font, with 1.5 line spacing and
normal margins. Headings should be kept to a reasonable size/font (14-20pts).
Students should use APA referencing, and be sure to provide a source for tables and figures. For a
1500-2000 word assignment 15 references would be expected, drawn from a range of sources, with
a particular focus on journal articles (see web resources). Cite source for all tables and data.
Students should submit both their Brief and Report via the class page on Stream, or via email in the
case of emergencies or with prior agreement with the lecturer (email email@example.com)
Submission is due at 4pm on Friday 19th of October
Sources for NZ policy/intervention ideas
Ministry of health website: https://www.health.govt.nz/
Sources for data
Statistics New Zealand: http://www.stats.govt.nz
Ministry of health: https://www.health.govt.nz/nz-health-statistics/health-statistics-and-data-sets
Journal articles & books
Cochrane library: https://www.cochranelibrary.com/
Library databases: http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/research/library/find-information/articledatabases/article-databases_home.cfm
Google scholar: https://scholar.google.co.nz/
Guide to APA referencing style: http://owll.massey.ac.nz/referencing/apa-interactive.php
A good report will demonstrate that you have read the relevant material, have an understanding of
the subject, and can apply those understandings to the topic. It will include:
• A logical structure (clearly defined sections – use sub-headings where appropriate)
• Effective use of evidence (support your statements and arguments)
• An analytical and critical approach (it will interpret, be reflexive, not merely describe)
• Good persuasive writing – in your own words, but using correct terminology.
It will also:
• Define relevant terms, concepts, theoretical premises etc., and reference their source
• Avoid repetition – deal with each issue as you introduce it and (as best you can) move on.
• Identify the question being answered, and refer back to the question in the conclusion.
A couple of other useful points:
You do not need to use graphs or to link too closely to material from class, but consider methods of
effectively communicating complex messages. Tables or where appropriate figures may aid this.
For this paper, the issue/problem that you are examining is just your ‘background’ or context. That
section needs only be a paragraph or two, to set the scene. Focus on showing me you understand
what is taught in class and can apply that to a real-world scenario.
Be objective / dispassionate in your description and analysis. Avoid appearing to have an agenda.
Here we are doing ‘science’ – evidence-based argument which can be held up to scrutiny. Speak
authoritatively, and stick to what your readings or data show, not what can be extrapolated from the
Instructions for Assignment 3 (25% of final mark)
Due date: Friday 19th October, 4pm, submission via Stream
Assignment 3 provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of economic
assessments of a health intervention/policy. Students should focus on clearly describing the health
benefits and costs of an intervention/policy, applying material taught in class during weeks 8-11.
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