Identification, Review, and Use of Health State Utilities in Cost-Effectiveness Models: An ISPOR Good Practices for Outcomes Research Task Force Report

Value Health. 2019 Mar;22(3):267-275. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2019.01.004.


Cost-effectiveness models that present results in terms of cost per quality-adjusted life-year for health technologies are used to inform policy decisions in many parts of the world. Health state utilities (HSUs) are required to calculate the quality-adjusted life-years. Even when clinical studies assessing the effectiveness of health technologies collect data on HSUs to populate a cost-effectiveness model, which rarely happens, analysts typically need to identify at least some additional HSUs from alternative sources. When possible, HSUs are identified by a systematic review of the literature, but, again, this rarely happens. In 2014, ISPOR established a Good Practices for Outcome Research Task Force to address the use of HSUs in cost-effectiveness models. This task force report provides recommendations for researchers who identify, review, and synthesize HSUs for use in cost-effectiveness models; analysts who use the results in models; and reviewers who critically appraise the suitability and validity of the HSUs selected for use in models. The associated Minimum Reporting Standards of Systematic Review of Utilities for Cost-Effectiveness checklist created by the task force provides criteria to judge the appropriateness of the HSUs selected for use in cost-effectiveness models and is suitable for use in different international settings.

Keywords: cost effectiveness; economic evaluation; health state utility; preference-based; quality of life; systematic reviews; utilities.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Advisory Committees* / trends
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis / methods*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis / trends
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / trends
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years*
  • Research Report* / trends
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / methods*
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / trends