QALYs versus HYEs - a theoretical exposition
AbstractThere has been a vigorous dispute about quality adjusted life years (QALYs) and it has been argued that they are an inappropriate measure of patient utility and that a more efficient approach is to measure outcomes in terms of health year equivalents (HYEs). This paper explores the theoretical underpinning of this debate. It explores the claim that QALYs are liable to misrepresent consumer preferences and hence lead to decision-makers choosing options which are not those preferred by the public. It also considers the claim that HYEs do not suffer from this defect. We argue that none of the examples offered to date demonstrate the alleged tendency of QALYs to misinterpret preferences. We also suggest that although QALYs may misinterpret preferences in a way that HYEs do not, since they require that the individual’s utility function be additively separable over time, there is no evidence to date that QALYs do so.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Health Economics, University of York in its series Working Papers with number 099chedp.
Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: Sep 1992
Date of revision:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Torrance, George W., 1986. "Measurement of health state utilities for economic appraisal : A review," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-30, March.
- Claude Le Pen, 1997. "Théorie de l'utilité et mesure des états de santé, le débat QALYs-HYEs," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 129(3), pages 37-54.
- Andrew M Jones, 1995. "A microeconometric analysis of smoking in the UK health and lifestyle survey," Working Papers 139chedp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Frances Sharp).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.