Background Alcohol-attributable harm remains a serious public health problems in Australia and internationally. Quantifying these costs enables the relative size of various health problems to be gauged and health priorities set. Identifying cost-effective interventions provides an evidence base for resource allocation to achieve value for money.
Objectives The purpose of this study is to estimate the cost of alcohol-attributable harm in Western Australia (WA) and identify cost-effective initiatives to reduce this harm.
Methods Data was sourced from the WA Health Department including from the hospital morbidity data collection, the emergency department data collection and death registration records. This data was linked to enable records from the same person to be determined. Records of offences committed was obtained from the WA Police Service. Alcohol-attributable fractions were used to assess the extent to which health events and offences were attributable to alcohol. Costs were assigned to events by direct mapping, cost modelling or top-down cost allocation. A review was conducted to identify effective alcohol harm prevention initiatives, with data from this review forming the basis of effectiveness and resource use calculations. Cost savings of reducing injuries was determined from estimates of the cost of alcohol-attributable harm.
Findings The cost of alcohol-attributable injury events will be presented in total and by sex, age group, mechanism and region. Cost components will be shown including health sector costs, criminal costs, property and vehicle damage, loss of productivity and quality of life loss. Benefit-cost ratios and cost per quality-adjusted life years will be produced for effective prevention initiatives for environmental and community-based interventions.
Policy implications Given scarce resources, findings will provide guidance to policy makers about how to select initiatives to reduce alcohol-attributable harm from injury at a state and regional level. Many findings will be generalizable to other jurisdictions.