Just recently the BJSM published the Consensus Statement from the first Economics of Physical Inactivity Consensus (EPIC) Conference. This consensus summarises the outcome of discussions as they apply to the health and economic burden of physical inactivity, held at the EPIC Conference in 2011 Vancouver. Specifically, the consensus (1) details existing evidence on effective physical inactivity prevention strategies; (2) introduces economic evaluation and its role in health policy decisions; (3) discusses key challenges in establishing and building health economic evaluation evidence (including accurate and reliable costs and clinical outcome measurement) and (4) provides insight into interpretation of economic evaluations in this critically important field.
While healthcare resources are finite and demands on public health expenditures are rising, policy and decision-makers are forced to make choices for resource allocation based on competing alternatives. Even for an important public health such as physical (in)activity choices need to be made. Economic evaluations are the backbone for policy makers to make such choices on a well informed manner. The EPIC consensus explains the value of economic evaluations in light of methodological drawbacks and challenges, proposing the development of guidelines specific for economic evaluations of physical inactivity intervention studies.
Davis JC, Verhagen E, Bryan S, Liu-Ambrose T, Borland J, Buchner D, et al. 2014 Consensus Statement from the first Economics of Physical Inactivity Consensus (EPIC) Conference (Vancouver). Br J Sports Med. 2014 Jun;48(12):947–51.