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Conceptualising ‘Benefits Beyond Health’ in the Context of the Quality-Adjusted Life-Year: A Critical Interpretive Synthesis

Author

Listed:
  • Lidia Engel

    (Deakin University
    Simon Fraser University)

  • Stirling Bryan

    (University of British Columbia
    Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute)

  • David G. T. Whitehurst

    (Simon Fraser University
    Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute)

Abstract

There is growing interest in extending the evaluative space of the quality-adjusted life-year framework beyond health. Using a critical interpretive synthesis approach, the objective was to review peer-reviewed literature that has discussed non-health outcomes within the context of quality-adjusted life-years and synthesise information into a thematic framework. Papers were identified through searches conducted in Web of Science, using forward citation searching. A critical interpretive synthesis allows for the development of interpretations (synthetic constructs) that go beyond those offered in the original sources. The final output of a critical interpretive synthesis is the synthesising argument, which integrates evidence from across studies into a coherent thematic framework. A concept map was developed to show the relationships between different types of non-health benefits. The critical interpretive synthesis was based on 99 papers. The thematic framework was constructed around four themes: (1) benefits affecting well-being (subjective well-being, psychological well-being, capability and empowerment); (2) benefits derived from the process of healthcare delivery; (3) benefits beyond the recipient of care (spillover effects, externalities, option value and distributional benefits); and (4) benefits beyond the healthcare sector. There is a wealth of research concerning non-health benefits and the evaluative space of the quality-adjusted life-year. Further dialogue and debate are necessary to address conceptual and normative challenges, to explore the societal willingness to sacrifice health for benefits beyond health and to consider the equity implications of different courses of action.

Suggested Citation

  • Lidia Engel & Stirling Bryan & David G. T. Whitehurst, 2021. "Conceptualising ‘Benefits Beyond Health’ in the Context of the Quality-Adjusted Life-Year: A Critical Interpretive Synthesis," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 39(12), pages 1383-1395, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:pharme:v:39:y:2021:i:12:d:10.1007_s40273-021-01074-x
    DOI: 10.1007/s40273-021-01074-x
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