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Reliability of health utility measures and a test of values clarification


  • Shiell, Alan
  • Hawe, Penelope
  • Fletcher, Megan


This study examines the test-retest reliability of two methods of establishing health preference weights and assesses the effectiveness of a brief values-clarification exercise. Survey participants were randomly allocated to one of two groups and received either a standard protocol for eliciting health preferences (comparison group) or an augmented protocol designed to encourage reflection and deliberation (intervention group). Preferences were elicited on three occasions over 5 weeks. The results show that the two valuation methods each had acceptable levels of test-retest reliability. No significant differences were found in preference weights over time or between intervention and comparison groups. The values-clarification exercise had some impact on individual answers, but the changes cancelled each other out at the group level. There was no discernable intervention effect at the group level. It is premature to draw conclusions from one study about why, or even how, a person's valuations might change over time, but our results support the use of current valuation techniques for group-level analyses.

Suggested Citation

  • Shiell, Alan & Hawe, Penelope & Fletcher, Megan, 2003. "Reliability of health utility measures and a test of values clarification," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1531-1541, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:7:p:1531-1541

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    Cited by:

    1. Karimi, M. & Brazier, J. & Paisley, S., 2017. "How do individuals value health states? A qualitative investigation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 80-88.
    2. Mandy Ryan & Mabelle Amaya-Amaya, 2005. "' Threats ' to and hopes for estimating benefits," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(6), pages 609-619.
    3. Alan Shiell & Penelope Hawe, 2006. "Test-retest reliability of willingness to pay," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 7(3), pages 173-178, September.
    4. Schwappach, David L.B. & Strasmann, Thomas J., 2006. ""Quick and dirty numbers"?: The reliability of a stated-preference technique for the measurement of preferences for resource allocation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 432-448, May.


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