Our research

Our major economic research areas of expertise include obesity prevention, mental health, chronic disease management, disability, maternal and child health, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and oral health. We’re commissioned to provide health technology assessments to both the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and Medical Services Advisory Committee.

Economics of obesity stream

Our team undertakes work in three broad areas:

  • the measurement of the economic impacts of obesity
  • the economic evaluation of single interventions targeting obesity prevention
  • the evaluation of multiple interventions to inform priority setting and the development of prevention strategies.

Our team members are key players in the economic stream of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) on Policy Research on Obesity and Food Systems. Our stream coordinator is Professor Marj Moodie.

Our major projects

NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) on Policy Research on Obesity and Food Systems (NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence 10401020). R Carter (Deakin University), B Swinburn, M Moodie, S Allender, R Osborne, M Lawrence

Stores Healthy Options Project in Remote Indigenous Communities (SHOP@RIC). J Brimblecombe (Menzies School of Population Health), A Leach, K Ball, R Baillie, C Ni Mhurchu, M Moodie, E Miles (NHMRC Project Grant 1024285).

HeLP-her Rural: Cost-effectiveness of preventing weight gain in young to mid-age women living in rural communities. H Teede (Monash University), C Lombard, S Zoungas, C Keating, K Ball, M Moodie (NHMRC Project Grant 1025249).

Evaluation of the Ministry of Food Program in Ipswich. M Moodie, C Keating, B Swinburn, E Waters, L Gibbs (for The Good Foundation).

Evaluation of the Ministry of Food Program in Victoria. M Moodie, B Swinburn, E Waters, L Gibbs, A Flego (for the Victorian Department of Health).

Stand Up! Reducing prolonged workplace sitting time in office workers. D Dunstan (Baker IDI), G Healy, N Owen, E Eakin, T LaMontagne, M Moodie. (NHMRC Project Grant 1002706).

Modelling policy interventions to protect Australia's food security in the face of environmental sustainability challenges. M Lawrence, C Ryan, S Friel, M Moodie, G Turner (ARC Project Grant 120100168).

Cost effectiveness of salt reduction interventions in Pacific Islands. Implementation Research in Hypertension in Low and Middle Income Countries. J Webster (George Institute for Global Health), W Snowdon, B Neal, M Moodie (NHMRC Targeted Round Grant 1040178).

MAGDA Study: Mothers After Gestational Diabetes in Australia. Preventing diabetes in pregnancy from progressing to type 2 diabetes: macro level system change in South Australia and Victoria. J Dunbar (Deakin University), J Best, E Janus, R Carter, J Oats, M Ackland, P Phillips, T Skinner (NHMRC Partnership Project 533956).

Our recent publications

  • Keating, C., Backholer, K., Moodie, M., Stevenson, C., Peeters, A. (2015). Differences in the Rate of Treatment of Severe Obesity using Bariatric Surgery across Socio-economic Groups. JAMA Surg, 150(4), 367-368.
  • Magnus, A., Moodie, M. L., Ferguson, M., Cobiac, L. J., Liberato, S.C., & Brimblecombe, J. (2015). The economic feasibility of price discounts to improve diet in Australian Aboriginal remote communities. Aust N Z J Public Health. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12391.
  • Wright, D.R., Kenney, E.L., Giles, C.M., Long, M.W., Ward, Z.J., Resch, S.C., Moodie, M.L., Carter, R.C., Wang, Y.C., Sacks, G., Swinburn, B.A., Gortmaker, S.L., Cradock, A.L. (2015). Modeling the Cost Effectiveness of Child Care Policy Changes in the U.S. Am J Prev Med, 49(1), 135-147.
  • Barrett, J.L., Gortmaker, S.L., Long, M.W., Ward, Z.J., Resch, S.C., Moodie, M.L., Carter, R., Sacks, G., Swinburn, B. A., Wang, Y. C., Cradock, A. L. (2015). Cost Effectiveness of an Elementary School Active Physical Education Policy. Am J Prev Med, 49(1), 148-159.
  • Skouteris, H., Huang, T., Millar, L., Kuhlberg, J., Dodds, J., Callaway, L., Forster, D., Collins, C., Hills, A., Harrison, P., Nagle, C., Moodie, M., Teede, H. (2015). A systems approach to reducing maternal obesity: The Health in Preconception, Pregnancy and Post-Birth (HIPPP) Collaborative. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Aug 55(4):397-400.
  • Keating, C., Backholer, K., Gearon, E., Stevenson, C., Swinburn, B., Moodie, M., Carter, R., Peeters, A. (2015). Prevalence of class-I, class-II and class-III obesity in Australian adults between 1995 and 2011-12. Obes Res Clin Pract. doi: 10.1016/j.orcp.2015.02.004.

Economics of mental health stream

We undertake economic evaluations of mental health and psychosocial care. Research in our program includes advising services and organisations that are doing economic evaluations or interested in assessing the economic impacts of their mental health and psychosocial care services.

Our stream coordinator is Associate Professor Cathy Mihalopoulos.

Our major projects

A randomised trial of a clinical prediction tool for targeting depression care (Target -D). J Gunn (University of Melbourne), C Mihalopoulos, K Hegarty, A Williams, L Sterling, P Chondros, S Davidson (NHMRC Project Grant 1059863).

Reducing  peer  victimisation  in  Australian  schools  through targeted  and  universal approaches. R Rapee (Macquarie University), D Cross, C Hunt, K Bussey, J Hudson, C Mihalopoulos, C Roberts, N Tito (NHMRC Targeted Call for Research - Mental Health 1047185).

Centre  for  Research  Excellence  on  Evidence-based  Mental Health  Service  Planning: Translating Evidence into Policy. H Whiteford (University of Queensland), L Degenhardt, J Pirkis, C Mihalopoulos, K Eagar, G Andrews, B Head, J Gunn, W Hall, G Patton (NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence 1041131).

The HORYZONS project: Moderated Online Social Therapy for Maintenance of Treatment Effects from Specialised First Episode Psychosis Services. M Alvarez-Jimenez (Orygen Youth Health Research Centre). Research partners are Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, the Australian Catholic University, the University of Melbourne and Deakin University. (Mental Illness Research Fund 2318751).

Improving mental health for young people in out-of-home care: providing participatory evidence-based mental health care across services. H Herrman (University of Melbourne), C Humphrey, P McGorry, I Kaplan, P Mitchell, C Harvey, C Mihalopoulos, S Cotton, E Davis, A Vance (NHMRC Targeted Call for Research - Mental Health 1046692).

Cost effectiveness in Australian mental health services: Improving the evidence base and relevance to decision-makers. C Mihalopoulos (NHMRC Early Career Fellowship 1035887).

The Australian perinatal mental health reforms: using population data to evaluate their impact on service utilisation and related cost-effectiveness. MP Austin (University of New South Wales), E Sullivan, N Highet, V Morgan, C Mihalopoulos, M Croft, K Brameld (NHMRC Partnership Grant 1028554).

A  stepped  care  approach  for  the  management  of  childhood  anxiety  disorders:  A randomised controlled trial. R Rapee (Macquarie University), J Hudson, H Lyneham, C Mihalopoulos, V Wuthrich, M Kangas (NHMRC Project Grant 1027556).

Preventing Child Internalising Problems: Follow up of a population-based randomised trial through  middle  childhood. J  Bayer  (La  Trobe  University),  R  Rapee,  H  Hiscock, O Ukoumunne, C Mihalopoulos, L Bretherton (NHMRC Project Grant 1079956).

Our recent publications

  • Mihalopoulos, C., Magnus, A., Lal, A. Dell, L., Forbes, D., Phelps, A. (2015). Is implementation of the 2013 Australian treatment guidelines for post traumatic stress disorder cost-effective compared to current practice? A cost-utility analysis using QALYs and DALYs. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49(4) 360-376.
  • Mihalopoulos, C. and Chatterton M-L. (2015). The Cost-effectiveness of Interventions Designed to Prevent Mental Disorders: A Literature Review. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 9(2), 85-92.
  • Veerman, J.L., Shrestha, R.N., Mihalopoulos, C., Passey, M.E., Schofield, D.J., Kelly, S.J., Tanton, R., Callander, E.J. (2015). Depression prevention, labour force participation and income of older working aged Australians: a microsimulation economic analysis, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49(5), 430-436.
  • Stockings, E., Degenhardt, L., Lee, Y.Y., Mihalopoulos, C., Liu A., Hobbs, M., Patton, G. (2015). Symptom screening scales for detecting major depressive disorder in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis of reliability, validity and diagnostic utility, Journal of Affective Disorders, 174C, pp447-463.
  • Mihalopoulos, C., Vos, T., Rapee, R. M., Pirkis, J., Chatterton, M. L., Lee, Y. C., & Carter, R. (2015). The population cost-effectiveness of a parenting intervention designed to prevent anxiety disorders in children. J Child Psychol Psychiatry, 56(9), 1026-1033.
  • Davis, E., Gilson, K-M, Christian, R., Waters, E., MacKinnon, A., Herrman, H, Sims, M., Harrison, L., Cook, K., Miahlopoulos, C., Marshall, B., Flego, A., and Corr, L. (2015). Building the capacity of family day care educators to promote children's social and emotional wellbeing: results of an exploratory cluster randomised controlled trial. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 40 (2).
  • Chambers, G. M., Randall, S., Hoang, V. P., Sullivan, E. A., Highet, N., Croft, M., Mihalopoulos, C., Morgan, V. A., Reilly, N., Austin, M. P. Austin, M. P. (2015). The National Perinatal Depression Initiative: An evaluation of access to general practitioners, psychologists and psychiatrists through the Medicare Benefits Schedule. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. pii: 0004867415580154.
  • Galvão, D. A., Newton, R. U., Gardiner, R. A., Girgis, A., Lepore, S. J., Stiller, A., Lepore,
  • Mihalopolous, C. Chambers, S. K. (2015). Compliance to exercise-oncology guidelines in prostate cancer survivors and associations with psychological distress, unmet supportive care needs, and quality of life. Psycho-Oncology, n/a-n/a. doi: 10.1002/pon.3882.
  • Lambert, S. D., McElduff, P., Girgis, A., Levesque, J. V., Regan, T. W., Turner, J., Candler, H., Mihalopoulos, C., Shih, S. T., Kayser, K., Chong, P. (2015). A pilot, multisite, randomized controlled trial of a self-directed coping skills training intervention for couples facing prostate cancer: accrual, retention, and data collection issues. Support Care Cancer. doi: 10.1007/s00520-015-2833-3.
  • Skouteris, H., McPhie, S., Hill B., McCabe, M., Milgrom, J., Kent, B., Bruce, L., Herring, S., Gale, J., Mihalopoulos, C., Shih, S., and Teale, G. (2015). Evaluating the efficacy of a health coaching intervention to prevent excessive gestational weight gain: A randomised controlled trial, British Journal of Health psychology, Jul 31. doi: 10.1111/bjhp.12154.

Economics of chronic disease management stream

Our research focus is on the impact of interventions across health care settings on a range of chronic diseases or conditions that absorb the majority of health care resources. The increasing prevalence of chronic disease represents a significant burden on individuals, households and health systems.

We research the economic credentials for disease prevention as well as the efficient management of established disease. Understanding the disease burden, impact on individual health-related quality of life and capabilities, and efficiency of interventions and health services form the major focus of our research theme.

Our stream coordinator is Jenny Watts.

Our major projects

The Australian Study of Cost and Utilities Related to Osteoporotic Fractures. K Sanders (University of Melbourne), J Watts, G Nicholson, G Duque, T Winzenberg (NHMRC Project Grant 628422).

  • Osteoporosis costing all Australians: A new burden of disease analysis - 2012 to 2022 [Report] Australia: Osteoporosis Australia.
  • Quality of life associated with fragility fractures.

Do additional allied health service for rehabilitation reduce length of stay without compromising patient outcomes? Investigators: N Taylor (La Trobe University), N Brusco, J Watts, N Shields, N Sullivan (NHMRC Partnership Grant 541958).

Home based rehabilitation in Parkinson's disease. M Morris (University of Melbourne), J Watts, F Huxham, H Menz, N Taylor, C Martin (NHMRC Project Grant 509129).

National Evaluation of the Dementia Care in Hospitals Project. R Carter, J Watts, L Lane (Deakin University).

Impact of HIV/AIDS service provision on individuals, households and communities in Sub -Saharan Africa (Uganda and Kenya). J Abimanyi-Ochom (Deakin University), B Inder, B Hollingsworth, P Lorgelly (Centre for Health Economics Uganda HIV Survey funded by Monash University).

HIV/AIDS and Disability (A Case of Uganda). J Abimanyi-Ochom (Deakin University), H Mannan, N Groce (Deakin Population Health SRC Small grant project).

Improving access for community health and sub-acute outpatient services. N Taylor (La Trobe University), J Watts, S Leggat, B Kent, K Harding (NHRMC Partnership Grant 1076777).

Our recent publications

  • Abimanyi-Ochom, J., Watts, J.J., Borgstrom, F., Nicholson, G.C., Shore-Lorenti, C., Stuart, A.L., Zhang, Y., Iuliano, S., Seeman, E., Prince, R., March, L., Cross, M., Winzenberg, T., Laslett, L.L., Duque G, Ebeling PR & Sanders K.M., (2015). Changes in quality of life associated with fragility fractures: Australian arm of the International Cost and Utility Related to Osteoporotic Fractures Study (AusICUROS). Osteoporosis International, 26(6), 1781-1790.
  • Morris, M. E., Menz, H. B., McGinley, J. L., Watts, J.J., Huxham, F. E., Murphy, A. T., Iansek, R. (2015). A Randomized Controlled Trial to Reduce Falls in People With Parkinson's Disease. Neurorehabil Neural Repair, 29(8), 777-785.
  • Morris, M.E., Murphy, A.T., Watts, J.J., Jolley, D., Campbell, D., Soh, S., Said, C., Iansek, R. (2015). The Health Profile of People Living with Parkinson’s Disease Managed in a Comprehensive Care Setting. Aging Sci 3:135. doi: 10.4172/2329-8847.1000135.
  • Brusco, N.K., Watts, J.J., Shields, N., Taylor, N.F. (2015). Is cost effectiveness sustained after weekend inpatient rehabilitation? 12 month follow up from a randomized controlled trial. BMC Health Services Research 15:165.
  • Morello, R. T., Barker, A. L., Watts, J. J., Bohensky, M. A., Forbes, A. B., & Stoelwinder, J. (2015). A Telephone Support Program to Reduce Costs and Hospital Admissions for Patients at Risk of Readmissions: Lessons from an Evaluation of a Complex Health Intervention. Popul Health Manag. doi: 10.1089/pop.2015.0042.

Economics of disability stream

Our team runs a new and emerging research program within Deakin Health Economics. We aim to build capacity in economics of disability research in collaboration with researchers and stakeholders in disability research, knowledge translation and policy.

Our stream coordinators are Professor Rob Carter and Dr Sophy Shih.

Our major projects

Centre for Research Excellence in Cerebral Palsy (CRE-CP). D Reddihough (Murdoch Childrens Research Institute), K Graham, C Imms, N Badawi, M Coory, E Waters, E Blair, R Carter (NHMRC CRE Grant 1057997).

Developing and evaluating a new cost-effective health and wellbeing model of care for disability service providers. E Waters (University of Melbourne), E Davis, J Chan, D Reddihough, R Carter, K Williams, L Gibbs, J Reynolds, J Tracy, R McDonald (NHMRC Partnership Grant 1076861).

Developing a disability policy model to target the prevention or reduction of limitations on functioning and wellbeing. C Stevenson (Deakin University), A Peeters, H Mannan, C Reid, D Magliano, A Hodge (ARC Discovery Project Grant DP120

Our recent publications

The three studies listed above are all in the early stage of the research cycle and publications to date have focused on protocol design.

Economics of maternal and child health stream

Our team studies the economic evaluation of maternal and child health interventions. We work closely with organisations interested in assessing the cost-effectiveness of their programs.

We’re involved in a broad range of research areas, including pregnancy and postnatal care and programs covering early childhood to primary school. Increasingly, programs in this field of research are community interventions and target multiple groups across multiple settings. Our economic evaluation methods match this focus of evaluation and design.

Our stream coordinator is Associate Professor Lisa Gold.

Our major publications

Centre for Research Excellence in Childhood Language (CRE-CL). S Reilly (Murdoch Childrens Research Institute), M Wake, J Law, B Tomblin, F Mensah, A Morgan, J Nicholson, L Gold, S Goldfeld (NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence 1023493).

How language develops, what goes wrong and why it matters: following the Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS) to age 13. S Reilly (Murdoch Childrens Research Institute), M Wake, E Bavin, T Eadie, F Mensah, L Bretherton, L Gold, A Castles (NHMRC Project Grant 1023964).

Growing up in Australia's Child Health CheckPoint: Implementing an intergenerational health module for the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. M Wake (Murdoch Childrens Research Institute), D Burgner, F Mensah, M Cheung, L Gold, S Clifford, T Olds, J Carlin, P Azzopardi, T Dwyer, R Saffery, S Ranganathan, B Edwards, H Rogers (Foundation for Children ID 2014-055).

Sleep Well Be Well: Improving school transition by improving child sleep - translational randomised trial. H Hiscock (Murdoch Childrens Research Institute), M Wake, J Quach, L Gold, J McLoughlin, J Carlin (NHMRC Project Grant 1024203).

Sleeping sound with ADHD: Does a brief behavioural sleep intervention, delivered by trained health professionals, improve outcomes for children with ADHD? A cluster-randomised, translational trial. H Hiscock (Murdoch Childrens Research Institute), E Sciberras, H Heussler, F Oberklaid, N Rinehart, M Wiest (AI- Lisa Gold). (NHMRC Project Grant 1058827).

Our recent publications

  • Wake M., Levickis P., Tobin S., Gold L., Ukoumunne O.C., Goldfeld S. et al. Two-Year Outcomes of a Population-Based Intervention for Preschool Language Delay: An RCT. Pediatrics. 136 (4): 2015-1337.
  • Roberts, G., Quach, J., Mensah, F., Gathercole, S., Gold, L., Anderson, P., Spencer-Smith, M., Wake, M. (2015). Schooling duration rather than chronological age predicts working memory between 6 and 7 years: the Memory Maestros study. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 36(2): 68-74.
  • Hegarty, K., Tarzia, L., Murray, E., Valpied, J., Humphreys, C., Taft, A., Gold, L., Glass, N. (2015). Protocol for a randomised controlled trial of a web-based healthy relationship tool and safety decision aid for women experiencing domestic violence (I-DECIDE). BMC Public Health, 15: 736.
  • Lindberg, R., Whelan, J., Gold, L., Friel, S., Lawrence, M. (2015). Still serving hot soup? Two hundred years of a charitable food sector in Australia. A narrative review. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 39(4): 358-365.
  • Christian, B., Young, D., Gibbs, L., de Silva, A., Gold, L., Riggs, E., Calache, H., Tadic, M., Hall, M., Moore, L., Waters, E. (2015). Exploring child dental service use among migrant families in Metropolitan Melbourne. Australian Dental Journal, 60: 200-204.
  • Gibbs, L., Waters, E., Christian, B., Gold, L., Young, D., de Silva, A., Calache, H., Gussy, M., Watt, R., Riggs, E., Tadic, M., Pradel, V., Hall, M., Gondal, I., Moore L. (2015). Teeth Tales - A community based child oral health promotion trial with migrant families in Australia. BMJ Open; 5: e007321.
  • Ball, K., McNaughton, S.A., Le, H.N., Gold, L., Ni Mhurchu, C., Abbott, G., Pollard, C., Crawford, D. (2015). Influence of price discounts and skill-building strategies on purchase and consumption of healthy food and beverages: outcomes of the Supermarket Healthy Eating for Life randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 101(5):1055-64.
  • Virgo-Milton, M., Boak, R., Hoare, A., Gold, L., Waters, E., Gussy, M., Calache, H., O'Callaghan, E., de Silva, A.M. (2015). An exploration of the views of Australian mothers on promoting child oral health. Aust Dent J. doi: 10.1111/adj.12332.
  • Clifford, S. A., Gold, L., Mensah, F. K., Jansen, P. W., Lucas, N., Nicholson, J. M., & Wake, M. (2015). Health-care costs of underweight, overweight and obesity: Australian population-based study. J Paediatrics and Child Health. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12932.

Economics of cardiovascular disease stream

Our team's research expertise is in the economic appraisal of cardiovascular disease. Currently we're focused on the economics of stroke, particularly in management and rehabilitation practices. Our work will inform evidenced-based, cost-effective approaches to stroke management nationally and internationally.

Our stream coordinators are Professor Marj Moodie and Lauren Sheppard.

Our major projects

A Very Early Rehabilitation Trial for Stroke (AVERT). J Bernhardt, G Donnan, R Lindley, A Thrift, P Langhorne, M Moodie, H Dewey, L Churilov (NHMRC Project Grant Numbers 386201 and 1041401).

Cost-effectiveness of a novel Australian Stroke Telemedicine program (CAST). D Cadilhac (Monash University), C Bladin, M Moodie, H Dewey, A Meretoja (NHMRC Project Grant 1079956).

Our recent publications

  • Bernhardt J, Churilov L, Dewey H, Lindley RI, Moodie M, Collier J, Langhorne P, Thrift AG, Donnan G; AVERT Collaborators. Statistical analysis plan (SAP) for A Very Early Rehabilitation Trial (AVERT): an international trial to determine the efficacy and safety of commencing out of bed standing and walking training (very early mobilization) within 24h of stroke onset vs. usual stroke unit care. Int J Stroke. 2015 Jan;10(1):23-4.
  • The AVERT Trial Collaboration Group. Efficacy and safety of very early mobilisation within 24h of stroke onset (AVERT): a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 386 (9988): 46-55.
  • Sheppard, L., Dewey, H., Bernhardt, J., Collier, J. M., Ellery, F., Churilov, L., Tay-Teo, K., Wu, O., Moodie, M.; on behalf of The AVERT Trial Collaboration Group (2016). Economic Evaluation Plan (EEP) for A Very Early Rehabilitation Trial (AVERT): An international trial to compare the costs and cost-effectiveness of commencing out of bed standing and walking training (very early mobilization) within 24 h of stroke onset with usual stroke unit care. International Journal of Stroke, 11(4), 492-494.

Economics of cancer stream

Our team has research expertise in economic appraisal of a range of cancers, in particular appraising the cost-effectiveness of health promotion programs and screening initiatives. This work informs policymakers about the value for money of different intervention approaches aimed at reducing the burden of cancer.

Our stream coordinator is Professor Rob Carter.

Our major projects

True NTH: Health Economic Evaluation of the True NTH intervention as described in the True NTH Protocol. R Carter, A Magnus (Deakin University).

Memorandums of Understanding with Cancer Council Victoria (range of projects) R Carter, A Magnus, Sophy Shih..

Letter of Intent to Collaborate with Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. R Carter, S Younie, L Bulfone.

Our recent publications

  • Chambers S., Girgis A., Occhipinti S., Hutchison S., Turner J., McDowell M., Mihalopoulos C., Carter R., Dunn J. A Randomised Controlled Trial of Psychological Intervention for High Distress Cancer Patients and Carers. 2014 41(4), E256-E266, Oncology Nursing Forum. 
  • Livingston M., Osborne H., Botti M., Mihalopoulos C., McGuigan S., Heckel L., Gunn K., Chirgwin J., Ashley M.D., Williams M. Efficacy and cost-effectiveness of an outcall program to reduce carer burden and depression among carers of cancer patients [PROTECT]: rationale and design of a randomized controlled trial, BMC Health Services Research, 2014, 14:5. 
  • Tran B., Keating C.L., Ananda S.S., Kosmider S., Jones I., Croxford M., Field K.M., Carter R.C., Gibbs P. Preliminary analysis of the cost-effectiveness of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program: demonstrating the potential value of comprehensive real world data. Intern Med J 2012, 42:794-800. 
  • Shih S.T., Carter R., Sinclair C., Mihalopoulos C., Vos T. Economic evaluation of skin cancer prevention in Australia. Prev Med 2009, 49: 449-453.

Health technology assessment (HTA) stream

This stream involves the economic evaluation of new health technologies. We assess submissions for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and develop protocols and assessment of applications for medical services on the Medicare Benefits Schedule. We're also involved in researching the policy framework and processes under which public subsidies of new technologies may occur.

What is health technology?

Health technology is any service used to promote health or to prevent or diagnose disease and can include: 

  • pharmaceuticals 
  • medical or surgical procedures 
  • prostheses 
  • devices 
  • diagnostic tests 
  • preventative programs.

Innovations in health technologies result in improvements in the quality and length of life, but they come at a cost and are seen as the main drivers of ever-increasing health care costs.

Both government and private health services providers face the challenge of delivering better health outcomes within available health care budgets. Our health technology assessment will provide the necessary information about the costs, benefits and
comparative value of health technologies. Through HTA, new health technologies can be evaluated against existing technologies and assessed for their cost-effectiveness.

Health technology assessment of medical services stream

Assessment of a medical service includes developing protocols for submissions or assessments, critiques of submissions and assessment reports on medical services. Examples of the different outputs completed are outlined below.

Our stream coordinator is Sandra Younie


1197.1 – Remote Monitoring of Patients with Implanted Cardiac Devices: Final protocol.

Read the completed assessment

Critique of a submission

L Bulfone, Murphy B,. (2012) Diagnostic Use of Thyrotropin alfa-rch for Patients with Well-Differentiated Thyroid Cancer. MSAC application 1156, Critique of Application. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, ACT.

Assessment report

Murphy B, Whyte P. (2012) Pathology Tests for Latent Mycobacterial Infection. MSAC application 1144, Assessment Report. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, ACT.

Younie S, Murphy B. (2012) Measurement and Determination of Procalcitonin (PCT). MSAC application 1139, Assessment Report. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, ACT.

Health technology assessment of pharmaceuticals stream

Economic assessment and cost effectiveness of new medicines forms the majority of our research work, which is prepared confidentially and delivered as reports to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

Our stream coordinator is A/Prof. Andrew Dalton.

Economics of oral health stream

The Economics of Oral Health stream is a new stream, established in January 2016.  As with disability, the economics of this area is poorly investigated, despite the far reaching prevention and treatment issues involved. Too few recognise that poor oral health is linked with systemic chronic disease and that it impacts significantly on individuals, the health care system and society. Current government funding for dental services is based on clinical output measures that promote surgical management of disease symptoms, rather than the biological management and prevention of the disease itself. In this stream we aim to demonstrate to government and policy makers the economic benefits of preventative oral health models of care that utilise an all-of-team approach, including a broader health workforce.

To date, we have developed national and international partners and collaborations across oral health services/programs, universities, the oral health industry, professional associations and government departments. Looking forward we hope to develop a series of projects that focus on utilising non-dental professionals in an integrated model of child oral health care; and a shared care approach in the management of diabetes. The stream is fortunate to have attracted several staff ( Dr Utsana Tonmukayakul, Mr Tan Nguyen & Dr Katy Theodore) who combine skills and expertise in both dentistry and health economics.

The stream is led by: Conjoint Professor Hanny Calache.
Other staff appointed to the Stream are: Dr Utsana Tonmukayakul, Honorary Research Fellow Mr Tan Nguyen, and Honorary Research Fellow Dr Katy Theodore

Our major projects

The economic appraisal of Minimal Intervention Dentistry approaches (MID)

Anxiety-reducing dental procedures in children

Understanding the uptake of dental care under the Child Dental Benefit Schedule

School-based oral health promotion programs

Our recent publications

  • Clark R, Tonmukayakul U, Mangan Y, Smith M, Gussy M, Manton D, Bailey D, Calache H, Measuring adherence to evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, The Journal of Evi-dence-Based Dental Practice (2017), doi: 10.1016/j.jebdp.2017.05.001.
  • Christian B, Amezdroz A, Calache H, Gussy M, Sore R, Waters E (2017). Examiner calibra-tion in caries detection for populations and settings where in vivo calibration is not practical. Community Dental Health. Accepted 25/04/17
  • Rychlik R, Kreimandahl F, Blaich C, Calache H, Garcia-Godoy F,  Zilberman D,  Kay E, Si Y, Zimmer S: A global approach to assess the economic benefits of increased consumption of sugar-free chewing gum . American Journal of Dentistry, Vol. 30, No. 2, April, 2017
  • Emilia Bellucci E, Dharmasena L, Nguyen L, Calache H: The effectiveness of SMS Remind-ers and the impact of patient characteristics on missed appointments in a public dental outpatient clinic. Australasian Journal of Information Systems Mar 2017 DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v21i0.1405
  • Timmerman A, Calache H, Parashos P: A Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Study of Endo-dontic and Periapical Status in an Australian.  Aust Dent J. 2017 Mar 8. doi: 10.1111/adj.12512.
  • Johnson S,  Carpenter L, Amezdroz E, Dashper S, Gussy M, Calache H, de Silva AM, Wa-ters E:Cohort Profile: The VicGeneration (VicGen) study: An Australian oral health birth cohort. International Journal of Epidemiology 46(1):29-30 (2017)
  • Truong M,  Gibbs L,  Pradel V, Morris M, Guatirisa P, Tadic M, de Silva AM, Hall M, Young D, Riggs E, Calache H, Gussy M, Watt RG, Gondal I, Waters E: A Cultural Competence Organizational Review for Community Health Services. Health Promotion Practice 18(3):466-475 (2016)
  • Rohani MM, Calache H,   Borromeo M: Referral Patterns of Special Needs Patients at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Australian Dental Journal Sep 2016 DOI: 10.1111/adj.12465
  • de Silva AM, Hegde S, Akudo Nwagbara B, Calache H, Gussy MG, Nasser M, Morrice HR, Riggs E, Leong PM, Meyenn LK, Yousefi-Nooraie R. Community-based population-level interventions for promoting child oral health. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD009837.DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009837.pub2.
  • Gambetta-Tessini K,  Mariño R, Ghanim A, Calache H, David J Manton:  Knowledge, experience and perceptions regarding Molar-Incisor Hypomineralisation (MIH) amongst Australian and Chilean public oral health care practitioners. BMC Oral Health 16(1) · August 2016