Comparing directly measured standard gamble scores to HUI2 and HUI3 utility scores: group- and individual-level comparisons

Soc Sci Med. 2004 Feb;58(4):799-809. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(03)00254-5.


Directly measured standard gamble (SG) utility scores reflect the respondent's assessment and valuation of their own health status. Scores from the health utilities index (HUI) are based on self-assessed health status but valued using community preferences obtained using the SG. Our objectives were to find if mean directly measured utility scores agree with mean HUI mark 2 (HUI2) and mean HUI mark 3 (HUI3) scores. Also, if individual directly measured utility scores agree with HUI2 and HUI3 scores, and whether HUI2 and HUI3 scores agree. Questionnaires based on the HUI2 and HUI3 health-status classification systems were administered by interviewers to 140 teenage survivors of extremely low birthweight (ELBW) and 124 control group teens. Respondents were asked to think about their own usual health states using six dimensions from HUI2 and value that state using the SG. Mean SG scores are compared with mean HUI2 and mean HUI3 scores using paired sample t-tests. Mean HUI2 scores are compared with mean HUI3 scores. Agreement among scores is assessed using intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC). The effect of severity of health-state morbidity on agreement was assessed using three approaches. ELBW cohort mean (standard deviation) SG, HUI2, and HUI3 scores were 0.90 (0.20), 0.89 (0.14), and 0.80 (0.22). Results for controls were 0.93 (0.11), 0.95 (0.09), and 0.89 (0.13). Mean SG and HUI2 scores did not differ; mean SG and HUI3 did differ; mean HUI2 and HUI3 also differed. At the individual level for ELBW, the ICCs between SG and HUI2, SG and HUI3, and HUI2 and HUI3 scores were 0.13, 0.28, and 0.64. For controls the ICCs were 0.14, 0.24, and 0.56. HUI2 scores appear to match directly measured utility scores reasonably well at the group level. HUI2 and HUI3 scores differ systematically. At the individual level, however, HUI2 and HUI3 scores are poor substitutes for directly measured scores.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Ontario
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Concept*
  • Survivors / classification
  • Survivors / psychology