IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A New Valuation Method: Directly Eliciting Personal Utility Functions


  • Devlin, N.
  • Shah, K.
  • Mulhern, B.
  • Pantiri, K.
  • van Hout, B.


Standard methods for eliciting the preference data upon which value sets are based (e.g. time trade-off, standard gamble) generally have in common an aim to 'uncover' the preferences of survey respondents by asking them to evaluate a sub-set of health states. The responses are then used to infer their preferences over all possible dimensions and levels. An alternative approach is to ask respondents directly about the relative importance to them of the dimensions, levels and interactions between them This OHE Research Paper describes a new stated preference approach for directly eliciting personal utility functions (PUFs) from members of the general public. The approach focuses on helping respondents to reflect and deliberate on their preferences. A computer-based tool was developed and used to administer the questions via face-to-face interviews. The Research Paper reports the methods and findings of piloting work to test the feasibility and acceptability of the PUF approach for valuing a simplified version of the EQ-5D-5L, a measure of patient-reported outcomes. The PUF approach appears to be feasible. The authors conclude that it has the potential to - (a) yield meaningful, well-informed preference data from respondents; and (b) provide individual preference data that can be aggregated to yield a social value set for the EQ-5D. The paper concludes by describing the research and testing needed to further refine some elements of the approach. A revised version of this paper has been published in the European Journal of Health Economics and can be downloaded from - Please cite as - Devlin, N.J., Shah, K.K., Mulhern, B.J. et al., 2018. A New Method for Valuing Health - Directly Eliciting Personal Utility Functions. European Journal of Health Economics, pp.1-14.

Suggested Citation

  • Devlin, N. & Shah, K. & Mulhern, B. & Pantiri, K. & van Hout, B., 2017. "A New Valuation Method: Directly Eliciting Personal Utility Functions," Research Papers 001885, Office of Health Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ohe:respap:001885

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Parkin & Nancy Devlin, 2006. "Is there a case for using visual analogue scale valuations in cost‐utility analysis?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(7), pages 653-664, July.
    2. Devlin, N. & Shah, K.K & Buckingham, K., 2017. "What is the Normative Basis for Selecting the Measure of 'Average' Preferences for Use in Social Choices?," Research Papers 001798, Office of Health Economics.
    3. Nancy J. Devlin & Koonal K. Shah & Yan Feng & Brendan Mulhern & Ben van Hout, 2018. "Valuing health‐related quality of life: An EQ‐5D‐5L value set for England," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 7-22, January.
    4. 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.
    5. Ken Buckingham & Nancy Devlin, 2006. "A theoretical framework for TTO valuations of health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(10), pages 1149-1154, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Simon McNamara’s journal round-up for 6th August 2018
      by sjmcnamara1 in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2018-08-06 11:00:29


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. McDonald, Rebecca & Mullett, Timothy L. & Tsuchiya, Aki, 2020. "Understanding the composite dimensions of the EQ-5D: An experimental approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 265(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Nancy J. Devlin & Koonal K. Shah & Brendan J. Mulhern & Krystallia Pantiri & Ben van Hout, 2019. "A new method for valuing health: directly eliciting personal utility functions," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 20(2), pages 257-270, March.
    2. Yan Feng & Nancy J. Devlin & Koonal K. Shah & Brendan Mulhern & Ben van Hout, 2018. "New methods for modelling EQ‐5D‐5L value sets: An application to English data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 23-38, January.
    3. Daniel M. Hausman, 2010. "Valuing health: a new proposal," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(3), pages 280-296, March.
    4. Buckingham, Ken J. & Devlin, Nancy Joy, 2009. "A note on the nature of utility in time and health and implications for cost utility analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 362-367, January.
    5. Abualbishr Alshreef & Allan J. Wailoo & Steven R. Brown & James P. Tiernan & Angus J. M. Watson & Katie Biggs & Mike Bradburn & Daniel Hind, 2017. "Cost-Effectiveness of Haemorrhoidal Artery Ligation versus Rubber Band Ligation for the Treatment of Grade II–III Haemorrhoids: Analysis Using Evidence from the HubBLe Trial," PharmacoEconomics - Open, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 175-184, September.
    6. Micah Rose & Stephen Rice & Dawn Craig, 2018. "Does Methodological Guidance Produce Consistency? A Review of Methodological Consistency in Breast Cancer Utility Value Measurement in NICE Single Technology Appraisals," PharmacoEconomics - Open, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 97-107, June.
    7. Ash Bullement & Paul Nathan & Anna Willis & Amerah Amin & Cameron Lilley & Ceilidh Stapelkamp & Anthony Hatswell & Chris Pescott & Murtuza Bharmal, 2019. "Cost Effectiveness of Avelumab for Metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma," PharmacoEconomics - Open, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 377-390, September.
    8. Olsen, Jan Abel & Lindberg, Marie Hella & Lamu, Admassu Nadew, 2020. "Health and wellbeing in Norway: Population norms and the social gradient," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 259(C).
    9. Cubi-Molla, P. & Shah, K.K & Garside, J. & Herdman, M. & Devlin, N., 2017. "Age and Utilities: Issues for HTA," Research Papers 001830, Office of Health Economics.
    10. Hirsch Ruchlin & Ralph Insinga, 2008. "A Review of Health-Utility Data for Osteoarthritis," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 26(11), pages 925-935, November.
    11. Billingsley Kaambwa & Julie Ratcliffe, 2018. "Predicting EuroQoL 5 Dimensions 5 Levels (EQ-5D-5L) Utilities from Older People’s Quality of Life Brief Questionnaire (OPQoL-Brief) Scores," The Patient: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, Springer;International Academy of Health Preference Research, vol. 11(1), pages 39-54, February.
    12. John Brazier & Roberta Ara & Donna Rowen & Helene Chevrou-Severac, 2017. "A Review of Generic Preference-Based Measures for Use in Cost-Effectiveness Models," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 21-31, December.
    13. Billingsley Kaambwa & Gang Chen & Julie Ratcliffe & Angelo Iezzi & Aimee Maxwell & Jeff Richardson, 2017. "Mapping Between the Sydney Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ-S) and Five Multi-Attribute Utility Instruments (MAUIs)," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 111-124, January.
    14. Gutacker, Nils & Siciliani, Luigi & Cookson, Richard, 2016. "Waiting time prioritisation: Evidence from England," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 140-151.
    15. Arthur E. Attema & Marieke Krol & Job Exel & Werner B. F. Brouwer, 2018. "New findings from the time trade-off for income approach to elicit willingness to pay for a quality adjusted life year," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 19(2), pages 277-291, March.
    16. Richard Cookson & Owen Cotton-Barrett & Matthew Adler & Miqdad Asaria & Toby Ord, 2016. "Years of good life based on income and health: Re-engineering cost-benefit analysis to examine policy impacts on wellbeing and distributive justice," Working Papers 132cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
    17. Olofsson, Sara & Gerdtham , Ulf-G & Hultkrantz , Lars & Persson , Ulf, 2016. "Chained Approach vs Contingent Valuation for Estimating the Value of Risk Reduction," Working Papers 2016:34, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    18. Louise Longworth & Donna Fountain & Jeshika Singh & Ismail Azzabi & Glynn Owen & Ulf Lundstam & Shaji Sebastian, 2019. "Elicitation of Health-Related Utility in Perianal Fistula in Crohn’s Disease," The Patient: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, Springer;International Academy of Health Preference Research, vol. 12(3), pages 339-348, June.
    19. Wijnen, Ben F.M. & Mosweu, Iris & Majoie, Marian H.J.M. & Ridsdale, Leone & de Kinderen, Reina J.A. & Evers, Silvia M.A.A. & McCrone, Paul, 2018. "A comparison of the responsiveness of EQ-5D-5L and the QOLIE-31P and mapping of QOLIE-31P to EQ-5D-5L in epilepsy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 106170, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    20. Mathieu F. Janssen & Gouke J. Bonsel & Nan Luo, 2018. "Is EQ-5D-5L Better Than EQ-5D-3L? A Head-to-Head Comparison of Descriptive Systems and Value Sets from Seven Countries," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 36(6), pages 675-697, June.

    More about this item


    Measuring and Valuing Outcomes;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ohe:respap:001885. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Publications Manager). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.