A clinician's guide to utility measurement

Prim Care. 1995 Jun;22(2):271-80.


The approach described in this article is designed for clinicians who are striving to read utility analyses and understand patients' quality of life. We have introduced six questions to illuminate the complex issues underlying utility measurement and acknowledge the challenges encountered in conducting such research. Although not strict guidelines, the six questions provide a structured approach for recognizing high-quality articles and a swift method for discarding low-quality articles. We recognize that many studies seem poor when judged by these criteria, including some of our own. Yet we encourage clinicians, who are otherwise busy, to be selective in identifying utility analysis that merit attention. Without a structured approach, the temptation is to dismiss all articles as worthless and read nothing. The listed criteria, we hope, will help readers appreciate the merits of utility analyses and the role of patients' quality of life in decision analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Clinical Medicine / methods*
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy
  • Quality of Life*