Cover: Evaluating the Uptake of the Healthy Life Years Indicator

Evaluating the Uptake of the Healthy Life Years Indicator

Final report

Published Jun 25, 2007

by Wija J. Oortwijn, Judith Mathijssen, Maureen Lankhuizen, Jonathan Cave

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Investing wisely in health is vital if we are to ensure that future populations do not spend their increased lifespan burdened with disabilities that diminish their contribution to society and quality of life. In order to guide these investments and monitor health as an economic and societal welfare factor, the European Commission (EC) developed the Healthy Life Years (HLY) indicator, which is part of the European Structural Indicators set. The EC is interested in the uptake of the HLY indicator in the EC Services and Member States. In this respect, the EC (Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO)) asked RAND Europe to undertake an evaluation to help the EC better understand how to increase the uptake of the HLY indicator and how to raise the profile of health within non-health policies, particularly those addressing or shaped by demographic change. The evaluation is based upon desk research, a web-based survey (N=109) and interviews with 16 stakeholders. The evidence provided by the literature review, the survey and interviews show that the uptake of the HLY indicator within the EC Services and within National or Regional Non-Health Ministries is lagging behind use in National or Regional Health Ministries. This may be due to a number of factors, in particular, the National or Regional Health Ministries have more need for the HLY indicator; compared to Non-Health Ministries it is more directly relevant for policy making and both direct impact and the scope to incorporate such health expectancy considerations may be greater than at the EC level. Possible ways to increase the uptake of the HLY indicator were then identified and recommended to the EC.

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The research described in this report was prepared for the European Commission and was conducted by RAND Europe.

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