Seminar: Measuring health effetcts, modelling health economic analysis

Course content

Spring 2018:

It is the purpose of the seminar, to provide the students with a general understandig of both theory and practice of:

  • how health effect and utility is measured and used by decision- makers and stakeholders.

  • Modelling in health economic analysis.


The student will learn how quality of life is measured using Rating Scale, Time Trade Off and Standard Gamble.

Furthermore, the student learn about utility measures such as e.g. DALY, QALY and HYE.

The student will gain skills in using static state transition models (STMs) and dynamic models such as:

  • differential equation-based compartmental models,

  • discrete-event simulation (DES)

  • agent-based models (ABM)

STMs are static and unable to capture indirect effects, which are commonly observed in infectious disease modelling. Therefore, STMs may underestimate the benefits of an intervention. Decision-analytic models such as Dynamic Transmission Models are increasingly used as a vehicle for an economic evaluation, since randomized controlled trials (RCT), as a single vehicle for economic evolutions, have shown several limitations. As a result, economic evaluations often needs to build on various evidence from different sources to addresses a specific decision problem at a specific point in time. Non-liniar dynamics features must be reflected in the decision analytic model. Dynamic transmission models (DTM) can reproduce both direct and indirect effects from a communicable disease control program. STM’s such as e.g. Markov Models, are memoryless and assume constant transition probabilities, DTM’s don’t.

Examples on topics:

  • Markov Chain Monte Carlo Simulation.

  • Dynamic Transmission Models.

  • Comparison of methods to determine QALYs – Rating Scale, Time Trade-off and Standard Gamble Method.

  • Health Technology Assessment – how can it be used in the decision-making.


  • EUnetHTA HTA Core Model – a critical analysis

  • Healthy.years Equivalents

  • Consumption as a variable in a QALY-model.



MSc programme in Economics

The seminar is primarily for students at the MSc of Economics

Learning outcome

The seminar will give the student


  • about how health effects and health utility is measured.
  • about recent development in the modelling of health economic analysis.


The seminar intends to give  the student the following


  • Master the theory behind and practice of health economic models such as e.g. Markov Models and Dynamic Transmission models.

  • Master the theory behind and practice of health utility measures such as e.g. disability adjusted life year (DALY), quality adjusted life years (QALY) and healthy-years equivalents (HYE), hereunder differences in used questionnaires, interviews and calculation methods such as visual analogue scale (VAS), Rating Scale (RS), time trade off (TTO) and standard gamble (SG).


  • The student will obtain the competency to understand and perform health economi analysis.


Kick-off meeting, research and writing process of the seminar paper, sessions with presentation of own paper and critical evaluation/feedback to another student´s paper, actively participating in discussions at class.

Before the session a "so-finalized-as-possible"-draft of the paper must be uploaded in Absalon. After the presentations, the student submit an edited version of the paper in the Digital Exam portal as the final exam paper. The aim is that students use the presentation sessions as an opportunity to receive and use the constructive feedback to improve the paper.

Morris S., Devlin N., Parkin D. and Spencer A. ((2012). Economic Analysis in Health Care. Wiley, 2. ed. Chapters 5, 6, 7 and 13. ISBN: 9781119951490

Zweifel, P., Breyer, F. and Kifmann, M. (2009). Health Economics. Springer, 2. ed. Chapters 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13. ISBN: 978-3-540-27804-7

Handouts, slideshows and articles.


The student should have a basic knowledge of or interest in health economics.


Spring 2018:

Programme: Wednesdays 10:15-12:00 starting from February 7, 2018
February 7: Intro, presentation of participants and of idea catalogue to thesis subjects.
February 14: NO CLASS..
February 21: Participants presentation of project titles and ideas. Discussions and feedback. Working process initiated.
February 28: 1. Hour. Presenting titles, agreeing on which day who gives their presentation and who is moderator for who. 2. Hour. Presentation of curriculum by associate professor Niels S. Zeeberg
March 7: Questions and supervision of students.
March 14: NO CLASS. Writing process.
March 21: NO CLASS. Writing process.
March 28: NO CLASS. Writing process.
April 4: Presentation and critical evaluation of student 1, 2, 3 and 4.
April 11: Presentation and critical evaluation of student 5, 6, 7 and 8.
April 18: Presentation and critical evaluation of student 9, 10, 11 and 12.
April 25: Presentation and critical evaluation of student 13, 14, 15 and 16.
May 2: Presentation and critical evaluation of student 17, 18, 19 and 20.
May 9: Extra day for presentations cancelled and therefore delayed. And/or supervision of students.
May 16: Supervision of students.

Autumn 2017:
The seminar was canceled

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
- a seminar paper in English that meets the formal requirements for written papers stated in the curriculum and at KUNet for seminars.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the seminar and the objectives stated in the Curriculum.

To receive the top grade, the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Seminar
  • 20
  • Project work
  • 186
  • English
  • 206