The 'utility' of the visual analog scale in medical decision making and technology assessment. Is it an alternative to the time trade-off?

Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 1996 Spring;12(2):291-8. doi: 10.1017/s0266462300009648.


Methods often used for the valuation of health states are the time trade-off (TTO) and the visual analog scale (VAS). The VAS is easier than the TTO and can be self-administered; however it usually leads to lower scores. In the literature a power transformation of group mean VAS scores to TTO scores has been proposed. We were able to replicate this finding of a power function. We found coefficients that were very similar to those from the literature, for 183 cancer patients. The relationship existed independently of disease state and health status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychometrics*
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / methods*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / psychology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / therapy