Background: Attention is increasing on the consideration of broader non-health outcomes in economic evaluations. It is unknown which non-health outcomes are valued as most relevant in the context of health promotion. The present study fills this gap by investigating the relative importance of non-health outcomes in a health promotion context.
Method: We investigated the relative importance of ten non-health outcomes of health promotion programs not commonly captured in QALYs. Preferences were elicited from a sample of the Dutch general public (N = 549) by means of a ranking task. These preferences were analyzed using Borda scores and rank-ordered logit models.
Results: The relative order of preference (from most to least important) was: self-confidence, insights into own (un)healthy behavior, perceived life control, knowledge about a certain health problem, social support, relaxation, better educational achievements, increased labor participation and work productivity, social participation, and a reduction in criminal behavior. The weight given to a particular non-health outcome was affected by the demographic variables age, gender, income, and education. Furthermore, in an open question, respondents mentioned a number of other relevant non-health outcomes, which we classified into outcomes relevant for the individual, the direct social environment, and for society as a whole.
Conclusion: The study provides valuable insights in the non-health outcomes that are considered as most important by the Dutch general population. Ideally, researchers should include the most important non-health outcomes in economic evaluations of health promotion.