Measurement of Short Term Health Effects in Economic Evaluations
Ann M. Holmes
Short term health effects can significantly impact health-related quality of life (HR-QOL). Appropriate healthcare priorities can be set only if they are based on health status measurements which are consistent with how people value both short and long term health effects. This article discusses methods by which such health effects may be measured using health state utilities. The standard discounted quality-adjusted life-year model, in which the values of the various health states are weighted by the time spent in each state, generally fails to capture the true impact of temporary ill health on HR-QOL. Instead, a scenario approach is recommended in which valuations are based on holistic descriptions of health states which include all short and long term health effects experienced.
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