Preference-based measures (PBM) or generic preference-based measures are increasingly used in health economic evaluations to calculate quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Such measures usually comprise a number of domains (or descriptive set) that patients can use to describe various aspects of their health (e.g. limitations in daily activities and mobility, pain and discomfort). These patient-reported values (profile scores) are then converted to an index score using a selected algorithm (sometimes country-specific). These algorithms area based on surveying the general public’s preferences for different combinations of health states, which is why these measures are referred to as “preference-based”. The index scores (sometimes called ‘utilities’) usually range between 0 and 1, where 1 is usually taken to reflect a valuation of ”perfect health” and 0 refers to valuation of “death”. In some of these measures values below zero may be possible, representing health states perceived to be worse than death. Examples of PBMs include the EQ-5D, SF-6D and the Health Utilities Index. The EQ-5D is NICE’s preferred instrument for cost-utility evaluations in healthcare technology assessments.


How to cite: Preference-Based Measures [online]. (2016). York; York Health Economics Consortium; 2016.


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