Abu Dhabi, UAE – Evidence on the health-related quality of life of patients is increasingly being requested by payers in the Middle East. Yet, no EQ-5D-5L value sets are currently available to inform decision making in the region’s health care systems.

Meaningful EQ-5D-5L values were generated successfully from members of the public in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, United Arab Emirates; though some adaptation of the methods may be required to improve their acceptability in this and other countries with predominantly Arab and/or Muslim populations.

The objectives of the study, “An Investigation of the Feasibility and Cultural Appropriateness of Stated Preference Methods to Generate EQ-5D-5L Values in the United Arab Emirates,” were to test the feasibility of eliciting EQ-5D-5L health state values from a sample of Emiratis using a standardized international valuation protocol and to investigate cultural issues relating to the use of the methods in this population. The study was published in Value in Health Regional Issues Volume 7 (September/October 2015).

The results were largely consistent with our expectations, with higher values observed for less severe health states and lower values observed for more severe health states. The majority of respondents did not consider any health states to be ‘worse than dead’, and stated that their religious beliefs influenced their responses to the valuation tasks.

“This study demonstrates that meaningful health state valuation research can be conducted in the Middle East. We hope that it will inspire a growth in methodological research in this region” Koonal Kirit Shah, MSc, Senior Economist, Office of Health Economics.

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