Objective: To provide insights into health promotion outcomes that are not captured by conventional measures of health outcome used in economic evaluation studies, such as EQ5D based QALYs.
Methods: Twelve semi-structured interviews and five focus group discussions were conducted with participants of a randomized controlled trial (n=52) evaluating the effectiveness of a theory-based lifestyle intervention in Dutch adults at risk for diabetes mellitus and/or cardiovascular disease. Transcripts were analysed by two independent researchers using a thematic analysis approach.
Results: In total we identified twelve non-health outcome themes that were important from the participant perspective. Four of these were reported as direct outcomes of the lifestyle intervention and eight were reported as consequences of lifestyle behaviour change. Our findings also suggest that lifestyle behaviour change may have spillover effects to other people in the participants' direct environment.
Conclusion: This study provides evidence that in the context of lifestyle behaviour change EQ5D based QALYs capture health promotion outcomes only partially. More insights are needed into non-health outcomes and spillover effects produced by health promotion in other contexts and how participants and society value these. Methods to account for these outcomes within an economic evaluation framework need to be developed and tested.
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