Multi-Attribute Utility theory

Health-related quality of life (HRQL) is a critical element in the eventual outcomes of medical care and public health. Measuring HRQL successfully involves adequate description of health states, distinguishing differences among groups, and detecting change in individuals over time. There are two major approaches to HRQL measurement: psychometric and utility. Psychometric instruments like the SF-36 measure HRQL from a descriptive point of view to capture the various dimensions and generate a health profile. Alternatively, with the utility approach, one measures people's values for health states, also called preferences or utilities. Utilities are measured on a scale where 0 = death and 1.0 = perfect or optimal health. Utilities have a basis in economic theory and decision science and so are useful for calculating the quality-adjusted ...

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