Background: Many of the large ongoing national surveys of the US population contain a question that asks for the respondent's self-reported health status: "excellent," "very good," "good," "fair," or "poor." These surveys could be used to conduct cost-utility analyses of health care policies, treatments or other interventions if quality-of-life (QOL) weights for the self-reported health statuses were also available.
Objective: The objective of this study was to produce nationally representative QOL weights for self-reported health status and for 10 "priority" health conditions, by a series of demographic variables.
Research design: The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey contains the questions from the EQ-5D health status measure. A recent study has calculated time-trade-off-derived QOL weights corresponding to the EQ-5D health states for a large sample of Americans. We use these data to construct QOL weights for the 5 self-reported health status categories and 10 priority health conditions, by a series of demographic variables.
Results: Mean and median QOL weights were produced for self-reported health status, the 10 priority health conditions, and the demographic variables. We also report mean QOL weights for the self-reported health state and priority health conditions, by the demographic variables. Finally, ordinary least squares and censored least absolute deviation regression equations were used to estimate adjusted QOL weights for these variables.
Conclusions: By providing nationally representative QOL weights for self-reported health status and 10 priority health conditions, by demographic variable, we have facilitated the use of large national surveys for conducting cost-utility analysis and increased their value to researchers and policy makers.