Academic Unit of Health Economic Seminar Series

Informal caring and health-related quality of life: a longitudinal analysis of Understanding Society (UKHLS) data – presented by Becky Pennington from the University of Sheffield.

The AUHE would like to invite you to our seminar being presented by Becky Pennington from the University of Sheffield.

The seminar will be presented in person in the Worsley Building (10.47), with a Microsoft Teams link available for online attendees.


Decision models for economic evaluation are increasingly including health-related quality of life (HRQoL) for informal/unpaid carers, typically relating a carer's “disutility” (1 minus utility) to the patient's health state. These utilities/disutilities often come from poor-quality data and typically rely on cross-sectional analysis.

I used longitudinal analysis on 12 waves of data to provide estimates of caring on the short-from 6 dimension (SF-6D) and EQ-5D (mapped from SF-12).

I analysed data from Understanding Society (the UK Household Longitudinal Survey) for co-resident patient-carer dyads, where the carer reported “looking after or giving special help to” the patient in any of the 12 waves. I used fixed effects models to study the effects of caring for the patient (the “caregiving” effect) using the weekly volume of care and total duration of caregiving in years and caring about the patient (the “family” effect) using the patient’s HRQoL on the carer’s HRQoL.

I consistently found evidence of a statistically significant, positive family effect of the patient’s HRQoL on the carer’s HRQoL. This effect was significant across all domains of SF-6D. I also consistently found evidence that the carer’s HRQoL significantly decreased as the total duration of caregiving increased. However, evidence for the relationship between the volume of care and the carer’s HRQoL was less convincing.

I propose that my estimates can be used to populate economic models to predict changes in carers’ HRQoL over time and allow disutilities to be estimated separately for the family and caregiving effect.

How to attend

To request the Microsoft Teams link, please contact the seminar organisers Paola Cocco (email) or Richard Mattock (email).