A checklist for judging preference-based measures of health related quality of life: learning from psychometrics

Health Econ. 1999 Feb;8(1):41-51. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1099-1050(199902)8:1<41::aid-hec395>3.0.co;2-#.


There have been a number of published reviews of measures of health related quality of life, but most of this work has been undertaken within a tradition of psychometrics outside of economics. This situation has often resulted in health status measures designed specifically for the purposes of economic evaluation being neglected and portrayed as 'invalid'. This paper utilizes and adapts the traditional psychometric concepts of practicality, reliability and validity for judging preference-based measures of health related quality of life. The psychometric and economic approaches are most different in relation to validity because they are seeking to measure different concepts. The former seeks to measure health change as perceived by patients, whilst economic evaluation requires a measure of the value or strength of preference for the health change. A checklist is presented to provide guidance in the design or review of economic evaluations using changes in health as the main measure of benefit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Health Services Research / economics*
  • Health Services Research / methods
  • Humans
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years*
  • Reproducibility of Results