informal CARE effect tool: Estimate caregiver costs from EQ-5D data for inclusion in economic evaluations


For over 25 years, the institute for Medical Technology Assessment (iMTA) has played a key role in HTA research.

A considerable proportion of the care for patients and elderly people is provided by family and friends. Caregiving can have substantial effects on peoples’ lives, their health, and their well-being. However, clinical trials rarely assess these effects and thus no information on caregiver burden is available when the cost-effectiveness of a treatment is evaluated.

The iCARE tool, based on research published here, allows the estimation (including uncertainty) of the mean hours of care received by men or women based on their EQ-5D-5L or 3L score, but still requires an assumption on the proportion of individuals receiving care, as described in the peer reviewed article. The hours of care can be multiplied with country specific cost-price for caregiving to include caregiver costs in economic evaluations.

Two free tools are available: the online R-based tool and an Excel tool.

*note for the online R-based tool: to avoid errors save your file as a comma separated value file. Note that European settings are default with the semi-colon as separator. You can check this by opening your .csv file in notepad or changing your system settings.

For further reference see: Gheorghe, Hoefman, Versteegh & Van Exel. Estimating Informal Caregiving Time from Patient EQ-5D data: The informal CARE effect (iCARE) tool. Pharmacoeconomics, 2018.