Data and methods
A multicentre study in two Spanish regions in adult caregivers was conducted. A total sample of 604 people was available. A multivariate analysis was performed to identify the variables associated with the number of hours of caregiving time. In the monetary valuation of informal care provided, three approaches were used: replacement cost method, opportunity cost and contingent valuation (willingness to pay and willingness to accept).
The main determinants of the amount of time of informal care provided were age, gender, the level of care receiver´s dependence and the professional care services received (at home and out of home). The value estimated for informal care time ranges from EUROS 80,247 (replacement cost method) to EUROS 14,325 (willingness to pay), with intermediate values of EUROS 27,140 and EUROS 29,343 (opportunity cost and willingness to accept, respectively). Several sensitivity analyses were performed over the base cases, confirming the previous results.
Time of informal care represents a great social value, regardless of the applied technique. However, the results can differ strongly depending on the technique chosen. Therefore, the choice of technique of valuation is not neutral. Among the determinants of informal care time, the professional care received at home has a complementary character to informal care, while the formal care outside the home has a substitute character.