Aspects and Challenges of Resource Use Measurement in Health Economics: Towards a Comprehensive Measurement Framework

Luca M M Janssen*, Ruben M W A Drost, Aggie T G Paulus, Kirsty Garfield, William Hollingworth, Sian Noble, Joanna C Thorn, Irina Pokhilenko, Silvia M A A Evers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
107 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: While the methods for conducting health economics research in general are improving, current guidelines provide limited guidance regarding resource use measurement (RUM). Consequently, a variety of methods exists, yet there is no overview of aspects to consider when deciding on the most appropriate RUM methodology. Therefore, this study aims to (1) identify and categorize existing knowledge regarding aspects of RUM, and (2) develop a framework that provides a comprehensive overview of methodological aspects regarding RUM.

METHODS: Relevant articles were identified by enrolling a search string in six databases and handsearching the DIRUM database. Included articles were descriptively reviewed and served as input for a comprehensive framework. Health economics experts were involved during the process to establish the framework's face validity.

RESULTS: Forty articles were included in the scoping review. The RUM framework consists of four methodological RUM domains: 'Whom to measure', addressing whom to ask and whom to measure; 'How to measure', addressing the different approaches of measurement; 'How often to measure', addressing recall period and measurement patterns; and 'Additional considerations', which covers additional aspects that are essential for further refining the methodologies for measurement. Evidence retrieved from the scoping review was categorized according to these domains.

CONCLUSION: This study clustered the aspects of RUM methodology in health economics into a comprehensive framework. The results may guide health economists in their decision making regarding the selection of appropriate RUM methods and developing instruments for RUM. Furthermore, policy makers may use these findings to review study results from an evidence-based perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-993
Number of pages11
Issue number9
Early online date25 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
With the exception of Kirsty Garfield, all co-authors are partially funded by the PECUNIA project, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 779292.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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