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To what extent do people prefer health states with higher values? A note on evidence from the EQ-5D valuation set


  • Jennifer Roberts

    (School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)

  • Paul Dolan

    (School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)


The EQ-5D general population valuation set (or 'tariff') is increasingly being used in the evaluation of health care interventions and has been recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) for use in cost-utility analyses of health technologies. To be of use to decision-makers, the health gain implied by changes in health state values must reflect individual preferences. At the simplest level, if State A has a higher mean value than State B, then the majority of people should consider a move from B to A to be a good thing. In this paper, we examine the extent to which this is true by re-analysing data from the general population study used to derive the EQ-5D tariff. We show that, on average, the difference in value between two states has to be as large as 0.20 (on a scale where one represents full and zero represents death) for 70% of respondents to agree with the sign of that difference (never mind its size). Results such as these have important implications for the use of the EQ-5D tariff that has been generated from these data. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Jennifer Roberts & Paul Dolan, 2004. "To what extent do people prefer health states with higher values? A note on evidence from the EQ-5D valuation set," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 733-737.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:13:y:2004:i:7:p:733-737
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.875

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brazier, John & Roberts, Jennifer & Deverill, Mark, 2002. "The estimation of a preference-based measure of health from the SF-36," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 271-292, March.
    2. Mark Sculpher & Amiram Gafni, 2001. "Recognizing diversity in public preferences: The use of preference sub-groups in cost-effectiveness analysis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 317-324.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yang, Y & Tsuchiya, A & Brazier, J & Young, Tracey A., 2007. "Estimating a preference-based single index from the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ)," MPRA Paper 29804, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. McNamee, Paul, 2007. "What difference does it make? The calculation of QALY gains from health profiles using patient and general population values," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 84(2-3), pages 321-331, December.
    3. Bansback, Nick & Hole, Arne Risa & Mulhern, Brendan & Tsuchiya, Aki, 2014. "Testing a discrete choice experiment including duration to value health states for large descriptive systems: Addressing design and sampling issues," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 38-48.
    4. Juan M Cabasés & Eduardo Sánchez & Francisco J Vázquez-Polo & Miguel A Negrín & Emilio J Domínguez, 2005. "Self-Perceived Health Status Of Schizophrenic Patients In Spain: An Analysis Of Geographical Differences Using Bayesian Approach," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 0505, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra, revised 2005.

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