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How does the perception of pain determine the selection between different treatments?

Listed author(s):
  • Schosser, Stephan
  • Trarbach, Judith N.
  • Vogt, Bodo
Registered author(s):

    We test the QALY concept to evaluate the utility of therapies. The QALY is the sum of the duration of each health state a patient faces weighted by the utility the patient obtains from this state. The QALY implies linear utility functions over duration. Corresponding analyses for health-related decisions are problematic as inducing health levels is difficult. In this study, we evaluate both utilities over pain duration for a fixed pain level and over pain intensity for a fixed duration, with real health consequences, using the cold pressor test. We find that, for human decision-makers, utility over pain duration does not increase linearly over time when making health-related decisions. This suggests that the QALY might not capture preferences as intended.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268115002255
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

    Volume (Year): 131 (2016)
    Issue (Month): PB ()
    Pages: 174-182

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:131:y:2016:i:pb:p:174-182
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.08.009
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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    8. Peter C. Fishburn, 1967. "Methods of Estimating Additive Utilities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(7), pages 435-453, March.
    9. James Cox & Vjollca Sadiraj & Bodo Vogt & Utteeyo Dasgupta, 2013. "Is there a plausible theory for decision under risk? A dual calibration critique," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 54(2), pages 305-333, October.
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