Incorporating quality of life changes into economic evaluations of health care: An overview

Karen Blumenschein, Magnus Johannesson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The demand for economic evaluations of health care programs, especially pharmaceuticals, is steadily increasing. One of the most important issues in this field is how to measure, value and incorporate changes in quality of life into the economic evaluation. We provide an overview of the different approaches to measure changes in quality of life: quality of life instruments, the quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) approach and the willingness to pay approach. Quality of life instruments have major practical advantages since they are easy to administer. The results of these instruments cannot, however, be used in economic evaluations. In economic evaluations, the quality of life has to be measured on the 0 (death) to 1 (full health) scale necessary to construct ALYs, or the willingness to pay for the change in quality of life has to be measured. Such measurements are, however, much less straightforward to carry out. It would therefore be a major advance if it would be possible to directly translate the duality of life score into a QALY weight or the willingness to pay. It is recommended that more systematic research should be carried out on the relationship between duality of life, QALY weights, and willingness to pay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-166
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


  • Economic evaluation
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • QALYs
  • Quality of life
  • Willingness to pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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