Sunday, October 24, 2010: 9:00 AM
Kent Room (Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel)
Course Type: Half Day
Course Level: Beginner

Format Requirements: This short course will be formatted as a combination of 2.5-hour lecture followed by a 45-minute hands-on exercise. This course will be open to beginners who are interested in health utility measures and how to apply these measures in economic evaluations. There is no prerequisite for registering this course.

Background: Economic evaluations have been required to inform evidence-based reimbursement decision makings in many jurisdictions. Quality-adjusted life year (QALY) combining both quality and quantity of life facilitates a broader comparison across diseases/programs, and thus is a recommended outcome measure in economic evaluations by decision makers such as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH). Measuring utilities for health status through preference elicitation has been a common method to incorporate quality of life into economic evaluations. This short course will introduce different preference elicitation techniques including the visual analogue scale, standard gamble, time trade-off, and discrete choice experiment and how to use and analyse preference-based quality of life instruments such as the EQ-5D and the Health Utilities Index in economic evaluations.

Description and Objectives: The first section of the course (2.5 hours) will introduce the commonly used preference elicitation techniques including the visual analogue scale, standard gamble, time trade-off, and discrete choice experiment, and discuss advantages and disadvantages of each technique. As a relatively easier and less-demanding method, indirect application of these techniques through the development and application of a preference-based instrument (e.g. the EQ-5D and the Health Utilities Index) will also be described. Direct and indirect methods will be compared. The importance of eliciting valid and reliable preferences for health states will be highlighted by presenting a hypothetical economic model to demonstrate how to estimate QALYs with utilities and what is the potential impact of different health utilities on economic results and decision makings. Commonly-used methods for analyzing utility data including OLS, CLAD, and Tobit models, will be critically reviewed, and statistically sound methods highlighted.

The second section of the course will be a 45-minute hands-on exercise. All participants will be asked to complete the EQ-5D to describe their own health status. Both direct application of the above-introduced techniques and indirect application using a selected scoring system for the EQ-5D will be practiced to estimate the utility of their own health status.

The learning objectives:

After this short course, participants should be able to

  1. Apply the existing techniques directly to elicit preferences for health states for economic evaluations;
  2. Use existing preference-based instruments to indirectly measure utilities for economic evaluations;
  3. Use appropriate methods for statistical inference
Course Director:
Feng Xie, PhD
Course Faculty:
Eleanor Pullenayegum, PhD