Differences in Quality of LifeMeasuresExtra home assignmentHealth Economics
1. IntroductionEconomic evaluation is concerned with the analytical approaches to describe and compare thebenefits and costs of competing uses of resources (Morris, Devlin, Parkin & Spencer, 2012). Itis normative in nature, since it is concerned with the measurement and valuation of benefits,and involves value judgements about the extent to which trade-offs between people areacceptable and desirable. Economic evaluation of health care is of importance because of twofactors. First, health care is scarce and opportunity costs are always present, and second,health care is mainly financed by governments or third parties, which implies that marketmechanisms are not present. This gives rise to the need of economic evaluation of health careto reach cost-effective solutions (Gerdtham, 2015a). To come to these cost-effective solutions,economic evaluation is dominated by the measurement of benefits in the form of improvedhealth. One of the most important measures of improved health is quality of life (QoL)(Morris et al., 2012). QoL is often measured on a 0 to 1 scale, with 1 representing ‘fullhealth’, which implies that this value is as good health as a person can experience, and 0representing lowest possible health state, which can imply the absence of life but also a verypoor health state. A distinction can be made between direct and indirect QoL measures. Directmeasures already yield a value between 0 and 1, whereas indirect measures need betransformed to a value between 0 and 1. In this paper, the different direct and indirectmeasures and their advantages and disadvantages will be compared and discussed. Anoverview of direct and indirect methods of QoL is given in figure 1.