Assessing the Willingness of Parents to Pay for Reducing Postoperative Emesis in Children
This study assessed the willingness of parents to pay for a reduction in the postoperative emesis experienced by children. The willingness-to-pay technique was used to value the intangible benefits, such as relief from anxiety and discomfort, resulting from a reduction in postoperative emesis in children; anxiety and discomfort are currently excluded from most cost-effectiveness studies of antiemetic agents. A structured questionnaire was used to interview a representative sample of 162 parents. These were parents, identified by Gallup, whose children had undergone surgery within the previous 2 years and, therefore, were familiar with the postoperative experience. The median willingness to pay for a reduction in postoperative emesis in children was found to be Lstg 50 (30% of parents were unwilling to pay more than Lstg 5, while more than 35% of parents were willing to pay Lstg 100 or more). Most parents expressed some degree of worry about postoperative nausea and vomiting; 24% were very worried about it. This study found that simple cost-effectiveness studies of antiemetic agents including only direct costs underestimate the true value of the intervention.
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