Monday 29 January 2018

Proposed Research Project: Estimating the societal economic burden of ME in Ireland

Proposed Research Project: Estimating the societal economic burden of myalgic
encephalomyelitis (ME) in Ireland

Institution: Health Economics and Policy Analysis Centre (HEPAC), NUI Galway

Principal Investigator (PI): Dr. John Cullinan

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also sometimes known as chronic fatigue
syndrome (CFS), is a disabling and complex neurological disorder. People with ME are often
unable to perform their usual activities and at times sufferers may be confined to bed for long
periods of time. ME patients often have overwhelming fatigue that is not improved by rest,
and ME may get worse after any activity, both physical and mental, a symptom known as
post-exertional malaise (PEM). Other symptoms include sleep problems, as well as problems
with thinking and concentrating, pain, and dizziness. The impacts of ME have substantial
economic implications, including high levels of health care utilisation, regular usage of overthe-
counter medications, significant periods of temporary or permanent unemployment, as
well as the need for care assistance from family and friends. The prevalence of ME in Ireland
is estimated at 10-12,000 individuals but the associated healthcare costs and societal
economic burden of ME are unknown. This evidence would highlight the extent to which ME
impacts on the patient, healthcare provider, economy and society.

Study Objective: 
To estimate the economic impact to the healthcare provider, patients and
society of ME.

Research Questions: 
There are four main research questions that will be addressed in this
1. What are the economic costs of ME to the healthcare provider in Ireland?
2. What is the financial impact of an ME diagnosis to the patient and does this increase
over time?
3. What are the wider societal costs associated with ME i.e. productivity losses and
informal care costs?
4. What factors contribute to variation in societal cost across patients and what high-risk
sub-groups can be identified?

Project Budget: 
€10,000 (to cover survey-related and travel costs and a three month research

About the PI
John Cullinan is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at NUI Galway and a
founding member of the Health Economics and Policy Analysis Centre. He has published
over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and co-edited The Economics of Disability: Insights
from Irish Research, published by Manchester University Press. He is contactable on

email or 091-493996

No comments:

Post a Comment