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Do established health-related quality-of-life measures adequately capture the impact of chronic conditions on subjective well-being?

  • Böckerman, Petri
  • Johansson, Edvard
  • Saarni, Samuli I.

Objectives The paper explores how two well-established, utility-based health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) measures (EQ-5D and 15D) capture the negative effects of various chronic conditions on subjective well-being (SWB). This is important, as both SWB and health utility can be important aims of health policy and instruments in resource allocation.Methods A general population survey representing the Finnish population aged 30 years and over covering 25 self-reported somatic conditions and four psychiatric disorders diagnosed by interviews.Results Both EQ-5D and 15D fail to capture the effects of some chronic conditions on SWB, but the conditions differ between the instruments. Even after controlling for both EQ-5D and 15D simultaneously, common psychiatric disorders decrease SWB by 0.4 points on a scale 1-10.Conclusions Using health utility as a basis for resource allocation is likely to underfund the treatment of psychiatric disorders, in comparison to their effect on the SWB of the population. Different HRQoL instruments yield somewhat different results for different conditions.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Health Policy.

Volume (Year): 100 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 91-95

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Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:100:y:2011:i:1:p:91-95
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/healthpol

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  1. Brooks, Richard AU -, 1996. "EuroQol: the current state of play," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 53-72, July.
  2. R. Laynard & D. Clark & M. Knapp & G. Mayraz, 2007. "Cost-benefit analysis of psychological therapy," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 202(1), pages 90-98, October.
  3. Clark, Andrew E. & Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Relative Income, Happiness and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," IZA Discussion Papers 2840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  5. Dolan, Paul, 2000. "The measurement of health-related quality of life for use in resource allocation decisions in health care," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 32, pages 1723-1760 Elsevier.
  6. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Hypertension and Happiness across Nations," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 792, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  7. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
  8. Oswald, Andrew J. & Wu, Stephen, 2010. "Objective Confirmation of Subjective Measures of Human Well-being: Evidence from the USA," IZA Discussion Papers 4695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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