Monday, November 21, 2011

Falls and injuries

Here is a link to an interesting story about loss of balance, falls, and injuries that can cost an average of $18,000:

This is not something for which I have a whole lot of answers.  It is just important to realize what can affect falls.  As the quote in the article mentions there can be disease and specific treatments for diseases that have an influence on balance and falls.

As an economist, I wonder what influences a person's decision as to whether the try to prevent specific chronic conditions that may lead to a loss of balance, how individuals make decisions about treatments for these conditions, and how individuals make decisions about whether to adhere to the treatments.  In each case, an individual faces tradeoffs that are important to understand from an economic decision making point of view.  And in each case, the individual (with the help of their clinician) may have difficulty understanding the issues faced.

I also think about population level cost-effectiveness questions.  Especially when it comes to issues like whether or not promoting or funding yoga or Tai Chi classes is cost-effective.  Some evidence suggests that it may be.  But I think we have a lot to go.

As our population continues to have more chronic conditions with more treatments for more older people, we will be asking a lot more questions like these.

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