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Acceptability of less than perfect health states

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  • Brouwer, Werner B. F.
  • van Exel, N. Job A.
  • Stolk, Elly A.

Abstract

Health normally deteriorates beyond a certain age. This means, in Amartya Sen's terms, that one's health capabilities decline beyond a certain age, making it more difficult to achieve functionings such as mobility or sexual activity. In this paper, we investigate whether this normal reduction in quality of life also induces less than perfect health states to be considered acceptable at advanced stages of life. In other words, we investigate whether it is considered acceptable that health capabilities decline over time. In this study, we use domain-specific descriptions of health (mostly following the EQ-5D domains) in order to investigate whether the acceptability of less than perfect health states is similar for all types of health losses. Besides a theoretical consideration of this issue, we present some empirical evidence based on the answers of 226 respondents to a web-based survey. The results show that often individuals do indeed consider less than perfect health states acceptable, especially at more advanced stages of life. Mild health problems are more often considered acceptable than severe health problems. The acceptability of health states is related to the quality of life score of these states, i.e., worse states are considered less acceptable. This may have implications for the allocation of scarce health care resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Brouwer, Werner B. F. & van Exel, N. Job A. & Stolk, Elly A., 2005. "Acceptability of less than perfect health states," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 237-246, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:60:y:2005:i:2:p:237-246
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Williams, Alan & Cookson, Richard, 2000. "Equity in health," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 35, pages 1863-1910 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Al-Janabi, Hareth & Keeley, Thomas & Mitchell, Paul & Coast, Joanna, 2013. "Can capabilities be self-reported? A think aloud study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 116-122.
    2. Attema, Arthur E. & Brouwer, Werner B.F., 2012. "A test of independence of discounting from quality of life," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 22-34.
    3. Attema, Arthur E. & Brouwer, Werner B.F. & l’Haridon, Olivier & Pinto, Jose Luis, 2015. "Estimating sign-dependent societal preferences for quality of life," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 229-243.
    4. Márta Péntek & Bernadette Rojkovich & László Czirják & Pál Géher & Péter Keszthelyi & Attila Kovács & László Kovács & Zita Szabó & Zoltán Szekanecz & László Tamási & Ágnes Tóth & Ilona Ujfalussy & Noé, 2014. "Acceptability of less than perfect health states in rheumatoid arthritis: the patients’ perspective," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 15(1), pages 73-82, May.
    5. Bleichrodt, Han & Quiggin, John, 2013. "Capabilities as menus: A non-welfarist basis for QALY evaluation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 128-137.
    6. Erik Nord & Jose Luis Pinto & Jeff Richardson & Paul Menzel & Peter Ubel, 1999. "Incorporating societal concerns for fairness in numerical valuations of health programmes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 25-39.
    7. Brouwer, Werner B.F. & van Exel, N. Job A., 2005. "Expectations regarding length and health related quality of life: Some empirical findings," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(5), pages 1083-1094, September.
    8. Hansson, Margareta & Boström, Carina & Harms-Ringdahl, Karin, 2006. "Sickness absence and sickness attendance--What people with neck or back pain think," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(9), pages 2183-2195, May.
    9. Anand, Paul & van Hees, Martin, 2006. "Capabilities and achievements: An empirical study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 268-284, April.
    10. repec:eee:socmed:v:181:y:2017:i:c:p:158-167 is not listed on IDEAS

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