Volume 35, Issue 139 (December 2022)                   IJN 2022, 35(139): 448-453 | Back to browse issues page

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Nejatian A. The Need to Conduct Studies on Economic Evaluation of Nursing Care in Iran. IJN 2022; 35 (139) :448-453
URL: http://ijn.iums.ac.ir/article-1-3612-en.html
Department Health Management and Economics, Faculty of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran. , nejatian52@gmail.com
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Dear Editor
All health systems in the world are facing the lack of financial resources for meeting the health needs of people. Policymakers in the health sector use economic and political methods to solve this problem and implement appropriate strategies for prioritizing and allocating limited resources to meet unlimited health needs [1]. In this regard, it is important to conduct studies for economic evaluation of health to provide evidence to decision-makers. These comparative studies of the costs and consequences of different health technologies and strategies [2] can help policymakers to choose the most cost-effective interventions to create the greatest health outcomes. As universal health coverage (UHC) becomes one of the priorities of countries to achieve sustainable development goals, the access of all people to the needed services at a reasonable price should be considered by governments. The COVID-19 pandemic showed that only a robust health system with sufficient finance cannot guarantee people’s health in the long term, and we need to find cost-effective methods to provide health services [3].
Nursing care has always been the focus of policymakers due to its impact on promoting, maintaining, and restoring health. Nurses, as the largest group of health providers, can play a pivotal role in achieving the UHC goal [4]. Specialization and development of nursing care can be an important measure to reduce health system costs and out-of-pocket (OOP) costs of people. Nurses need to provide evidences for the cost-effectiveness of their services so that they can convince policymakers about the economic values of nursing profession which can be done by conducting studies to investigate the net economic effects of nursing care delivery models [5]. In some countries, many studies have been conducted on the economic evaluation of nursing care [6, 7]. One of the interesting topics is the cost-effectiveness of delegating some tasks to nurses [8]. Recently, digital nursing technologies have also been the subject of economic evaluation studies [9].
In Iran, economic evaluation is also among the research priorities of the health system [10]. The studies on economic evaluation in Iran have been conducted since the 1990s and has increased in recent years with the development of health economics majors in universities [11]. Nurses in Iran, with a population of about 200,000 people, provide a wide range of services with a great impact on the health system. It is necessary for them to be familiar with the principles of health economics and economic evaluation. According to a study in Iran, the knowledge and practice of clinical nurses in health economics is low and inadequate [12]. Nursing profession in Iran has a history of more than 100 years of academic activity. About 193 nursing faculties and nearly 2000 faculty members teach more than 10000 students annually at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels. There are 38 national journals related to nursing in English and Persian, and Iranian nurses have obtained the second rank in scientific production in the region [13]. Therefore, there is a great potential for conducting health economic evaluation studies by nurses in Iran, which should be considered by experts and scholars in nursing.
Although the study of the cost-effectiveness of nursing care is one of the research priorities of the National Nursing Research Network in Iran [14], after searching in national and international databases, I found no economic evaluation studies in nursing in Iran. In the list of projects of the Department of Health Technology Evaluation of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education in Iran, out of 96 studies registered from 2012 to 2019, there was only one study related to the cost-effectiveness of rehabilitation care services for stroke patients at home [15]. It seems that policymakers in health and nursing in Iran have not yet paid serious attention to the economic importance of nursing care. They should encourage scholars to conduct study on the economic evaluation of nursing interventions to provide evidence for the optimal use of health system resources.

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Type of Study: Letter to the Editor | Subject: nursing
Received: 2022/09/6 | Accepted: 2022/12/22 | Published: 2022/12/22

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