Munich, Germany – The valuation of health states is a critical part of economic evaluation studies. Health states can be valued by those who currently experience a health state or by the general public, who try to imagine what it is like to be in a health state. Differences between these methods have sparked debate over which is more appropriate when making resource allocation decisions within a health care system. Patient values better reflect the actual experience of a state, while the general population values reflect aspects of a societal perspective of how resources should be allocated. When deciding which of these perspectives is more relevant, it is useful to consider the impact of the choice.
A research team from the Helmholtz Centre in Munich assessed how the differences in health state valuations impact quality of life assessments in disease groups such as those who suffered strokes, heart attacks, diabetes and cancer. The results of their study showed that differences between the methods were dependent on the health problems faced by the disease groups.
Research assistant and first author of the study, Matthew Little, MSc, says, “The results were surprising because although the experience values tended to be higher than the population values for the majority of health states, its use gave relatively lower level of quality of life for the majority of the disease groups. As a result, health care decision makers should consider these findings when deciding whose values should count.”
The full study, “The Impact of Differences between Patient and General Population EQ-5D-3L Values on the Mean Tariff Scores of Different Patient Groups,” is published in Value in Health.
Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) publishes papers, concepts, and ideas that advance the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research as well as policy papers to help health care leaders make evidence-based decisions. The journal is published bi-monthly and has over 8,000 subscribers (clinicians, decision-makers, and researchers worldwide).
International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.
For more information: www.ispor.org