EARLY INTERVENTION: ACTING QUICKLY CAN IMPROVE PROGNOSIS AND REDUCE COSTS
Source: EU Whitepaper
European healthcare budgets allocate a mere 3% on average to prevention and early intervention, despite evidence of the importance of early intervention in patient outcomes. Brian Harvey, an Irish researcher working on prevention and early intervention in childhood, argues for the effectiveness of early intervention: cost benefit analyses to determine measurable return on investment (ROI) has found that in the UK, for every £1 invested on early intervention in childhood, financial returns range from £1.37 to £9.2 and averaging £3.65, depending on the type, duration, density, and longitude of intervention. Other tangible benefits include lessening hardship and suffering for children, families and communities.
Likewise, the Fit for Work Europe Coalition, supported by AbbVie, has studied the effectiveness of Early Intervention on musculoskeletal diseases (MSDs). MSDs are the second largest cause of disabilities worldwide, and Fit for Work estimates that 44 million people across Europe suffer from work-related MSDs. The economic consequences are significant: MSDs cost €240 billion annually in sick leave. That’s the equivalent of 2% of Europe’s GDP. Fit for Work’s research also shows that if European countries could reduce temporary work disability by 25%, the region would benefit from an additional 640,000 workers available each day. Pilot programmes in Spain and the UK show how early intervention in MSDs deliver health benefits to patients and cost savings to healthcare and social welfare systems.
Harvey, Brian, “The Case for Prevention and Early Intervention: promoting positive outcomes for children, families and communities”, Prevention & Early Intervention Network, 2014.
Bevan, Stephen, “Back to Work: Exploring the benefits of early interventions which help people with Chronic Illness remain in work”.
Spotlight on Prevention: When, Who and How?
Unhealthy lifestyles and lack of physical activity are key factors in the development of chronic diseases. Early prevention and diagnosis, better education, and above all collaboration among governments, patient organizations, and industry are crucial to prevent chronic diseases from arising.