Maria L. Alva MPhil
- Health Economics
- Applied Microeconometrics
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Maria Alva joined the Health Economics Research Centre in October 2009.
Maria is a DPhil (PhD) candidate and her doctoral work focuses on the impact of Type 2 diabetes-related complications on healthcare costs and utility using the UKPDS trial.
Diabetes is associated with a wide range of micro and macro-vascular complications. The thesis aims to characterize changes in the health-related quality of life of diabetes patients over time and assess the contributions of diabetes complications to these changes; estimate the impacts of diabetes-related complications on inpatient and outpatient health care costs; model the likely occurrence of major diabetes-related complications over a patient’s lifetime in order to calculate health economic outcomes such as quality-adjusted life expectancy.
The efforts in treating diabetes are geared towards reducing the likelihood of complications. As welfare benefits and future savings from reducing diabetes complications may have a large effect on the economic evaluation of diabetes therapies, it is important to have accurate estimates of the impacts of diabetes-related complications on patients’ quality of life and healthcare costs. The contribution of the thesis entails the exploration of appropriate panel data techniques, the importance of functional form issues, attrition over time, self-selection, clustering, persistence in questionnaire response, in order to answer the questions of interest. A unifying theme across the thesis is the challenge of estimating causal parameters in the context of substantial and unobserved patient heterogeneity.
Maria holds an MPhil in Economics from Oxford.
Supporting material available for download
Web Appendix: The Effect of Diabetes Complications on Health-related Quality of life: the importance of longitudinal data to address patient heterogeneity. Supporting material for related article Alva, M, Gray, A, Mihaylova, B and Clarke, P.