Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs)

The quality-adjusted life year (QALY) is a measure of the value of health outcomes. A QALY takes into account both the quantity (survival) and the quality of life generated by healthcare interventions and allows decision makers to compare diverse health interventions using a common measure.

What is a Quality-Adjusted Life Year?

One of the problems faced by decision makers is how to compare health interventions across diseases and with different health outcomes for priority setting in healthcare. A QALY-like concept was first proposed by Herbert Klarman in 1968 in a study of chronic kidney disease that estimated that quality of life was 25% better with transplant compared with dialysis. The method and premise was further developed in the 1970s, with the term quality-adjusted life year and QALY ...

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