Ageing and dementia

Deakin Health Economics

To meet the demands of a growing ageing population, the Economics of ageing and dementia research stream at Deakin Health Economics undertakes a broad program of economics research with the aim to improve the quality of life and care for older adults and their informal carers.

We work closely together with our collaborators in delivering high quality evidence to inform health and aged care system change. Our research spans from economic evaluation, to outcome measurement research, to health services research, including the application of stated preferences methods to value non-market goods and services, such as informal care.

Our Economics of ageing and dementia research stream leader is Dr Lidia Engel.

  • Economic evaluation

    We undertake both trial-based and model-based economic evaluations to inform the process of shifting resources to where they are most efficiently allocated. We have expertise in determining the appropriate economic evaluation design, including the identification of costs and outcomes suitable to the study population and the intervention under consideration. Our line of research spans from full economic evaluation to partial economic evaluation, such as cost analysis, as well as return on investment studies. In establishing evidence around the economic credentials of interventions in older adults, we apply most up-to-date research practices and standards.

    Current projects:

    • Improving the care of patients with cardiovascular disease as a pathway to combating burden of dementia

    Previous projects:

    • Video-interpreting for cognitive assessments: an intervention study and micro-costing analysis
    • Evaluating the Impact of the Dementia Care in Hospitals Program (DCHP) on Hospital-Acquired Complications
    • Model-based economic evaluation of interventions to reduce loneliness in older adults
  • Outcome measurement research

    We specialise in outcome measurement research, including the psychometric assessment of existing outcome measures to inform the choice of measure(s) for use in economic evaluation. This program of research is essential to ensure that the potential benefits of a specific intervention are captured by the respective outcome measure and fit for purpose for the targeted population group.

    Current projects:

    • A qualitative exploration of the content and face validity of preference-based measures within the context of dementia
    • Validation of carer-related preference-based instruments in the Australian setting
  • Health services research

    We also undertake a broad range of research whereby we evaluate the healthcare use, costs and the disease burden (for example, quality of life losses) in older adults.

    Current projects:

    • Grief in Older People: understanding the effects on healthcare utilisation and quality of life
    • Responding to Older People at Risk of Homelessness
    • Avoidable Hospitalisation for People Living with Dementia: Identifying Patterns and Barriers


  • Valuation of non-market goods or services

    Using stated-preferences research methods, we also conduct research in determining the value of non-market goods and services. For example, we’re currently undertaking a discrete-choice experiment to estimate the value of informal care provided to people living with dementia. This information will ultimately improve policy advice that utilises cost-effectiveness information and will facilitate the inclusion of the time costs of informal care in future economic evaluations of health care interventions.

    Current projects:

    • Estimating the value of informal care provided to people living with dementia in Australia
  • Economics of ageing and dementia research stream staff

    Staff of the Economics of ageing and dementia research stream include:

    Deakin Health Economics Director
    Professor Cathy Mihalopoulos

    Level E: Professor
    Jennifer Watts

    Level C: Research fellow
    Dr Lidia Engel

    HDR student
    Ishani Majmudar
    PhD thesis: The Economics of Loneliness and Social Isolation and an Ageing Population in Australia.