Societal value, the person trade-off, and the dilemma of whose values to measure for cost-effectiveness analysis

Health Econ. 2000 Mar;9(2):127-36. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1099-1050(200003)9:2<127::aid-hec500>;2-y.


In a previous paper, it was argued that Societal Value measurement through person trade-off (PTO) elicitation offers a way to include the values of both general public and patients into cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA). It was said that patients' values could be used to estimate the effect that various health care dimensions have on health-related utility and that public values could be used to estimate the Societal Value of these changes in utility. However, this previous proposal still creates opportunities for the public to misvalue the benefit of health care interventions because of bias or misunderstanding about what the health-related utility really is of various illnesses or disabilities. A procedure that combines patient and public values into CEA to partially correct for this bias is suggested in this paper. In addition, it is pointed out that, although Societal Value measurement offers a role for distinctly public preferences in CEA, it still does not answer the question of whose utilities ought to be included in CEA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis*
  • Delivery of Health Care / economics*
  • Humans
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Public Opinion
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • State Medicine
  • United Kingdom