Sheffield, UK – Qualitative methods lend themselves well to the development of preference based measures (PBM) of health related quality of life. They ensure the measure has appropriate language, content validity and responsiveness to change. PBMs of health related quality of life are increasingly in demand, due to the requirements of health care decision-making agencies and the increasing use of patient reported outcome measures. Research into the methods of developing descriptive systems for PBM is an emerging field.
While the use of qualitative methods in the development of non-PBMs is fairly standard, their use in developing PBMs was, until recently, not widely accepted. The traditional approach to developing PBMs involved deriving content from existing measures, the literature, or health surveys. The study, “The use of qualitative methods in developing the descriptive systems of preference based measures of health related quality of life for use in economic evaluation,” published in Value in Health, and co-authored by Katherine Stevens and Simon Palfreyman from The University of Sheffield, illustrates the use of qualitative methods by presenting two case studies: one in the area of children’s health and the other for venous leg ulcers. The authors outline the stages involved, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the approach and compare with traditional methods.
Says Dr. Stevens, “This paper illustrates the strengths that qualitative methods bring to the development of the descriptive systems of preference based measures.”
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.
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