Accounts from developers of generic health state utility instruments explain why they produce different QALYs: a qualitative study

Kristen Pickles, Emily Lancsar, Janelle Seymour, David Parkin, Cam Donaldson, Stacy M. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Purpose and setting
Despite the label “generic” health state utility instruments (HSUIs), empirical evidence shows that different HSUIs generate different estimates of Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) in the same person. Once a HSUI is used to generate a QALY, the difference between HSUIs is often ignored, and decision-makers act as if ‘a QALY is a QALY is a QALY’. Complementing evidence that different generic HSUIs produce different empirical values, this study addresses an important gap by exploring how HSUIs differ, and processes that produced this difference. 15 developers of six generic HSUIs used for estimating the QOL component of QALYs: Quality of Well-Being (QWB) scale; 15 Dimension instrument (15D); Health Utilities Index (HUI); EuroQol EQ-5D; Short Form-6 Dimension (SF-6D), and the Assessment of Quality of Life (AQoL) were interviewed in 2012–2013.

Principal findings
We identified key factors involved in shaping each instrument, and the rationale for similarities and differences across measures. While HSUIs have a common purpose, they are distinctly discrete constructs. Developers recalled complex developmental processes, grounded in unique histories, and these backgrounds help to explain different pathways taken at key decision points during the HSUI development. The basis for the HSUIs was commonly not equivalent conceptually: differently valued concepts and goals drove instrument design and development, according to each HSUI's defined purpose. Developers drew from different sources of knowledge to develop their measure depending on their conceptualisation of HRQoL.

Major conclusions/contribution to knowledge
We generated and analysed first-hand accounts of the development of the HSUIs to provide insight, beyond face value, about how and why such instruments differ. Findings enhance our understanding of why the six instruments developed the way they did, from the perspective of key developers of those instruments. Importantly, we provide additional, original explanation for why a QALY is not a QALY is not a QALY.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112560
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume240
Early online date19 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Sep 2019

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Quality-Adjusted Life Years
Health
health
Quality of Life
Qualitative Study
quality of life

Keywords

  • Australia
  • North America
  • Europe
  • Preference weighted quality of life instruments
  • Health Utilities Index
  • HUI
  • EQ-5D
  • Short Form 6D
  • SF-6D

Cite this

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title = "Accounts from developers of generic health state utility instruments explain why they produce different QALYs: a qualitative study",
abstract = "Purpose and settingDespite the label “generic” health state utility instruments (HSUIs), empirical evidence shows that different HSUIs generate different estimates of Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) in the same person. Once a HSUI is used to generate a QALY, the difference between HSUIs is often ignored, and decision-makers act as if ‘a QALY is a QALY is a QALY’. Complementing evidence that different generic HSUIs produce different empirical values, this study addresses an important gap by exploring how HSUIs differ, and processes that produced this difference. 15 developers of six generic HSUIs used for estimating the QOL component of QALYs: Quality of Well-Being (QWB) scale; 15 Dimension instrument (15D); Health Utilities Index (HUI); EuroQol EQ-5D; Short Form-6 Dimension (SF-6D), and the Assessment of Quality of Life (AQoL) were interviewed in 2012–2013.Principal findingsWe identified key factors involved in shaping each instrument, and the rationale for similarities and differences across measures. While HSUIs have a common purpose, they are distinctly discrete constructs. Developers recalled complex developmental processes, grounded in unique histories, and these backgrounds help to explain different pathways taken at key decision points during the HSUI development. The basis for the HSUIs was commonly not equivalent conceptually: differently valued concepts and goals drove instrument design and development, according to each HSUI's defined purpose. Developers drew from different sources of knowledge to develop their measure depending on their conceptualisation of HRQoL.Major conclusions/contribution to knowledgeWe generated and analysed first-hand accounts of the development of the HSUIs to provide insight, beyond face value, about how and why such instruments differ. Findings enhance our understanding of why the six instruments developed the way they did, from the perspective of key developers of those instruments. Importantly, we provide additional, original explanation for why a QALY is not a QALY is not a QALY.",
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Accounts from developers of generic health state utility instruments explain why they produce different QALYs: a qualitative study. / Pickles, Kristen; Lancsar, Emily; Seymour, Janelle; Parkin, David; Donaldson, Cam; M. Carter, Stacy.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 240, 112560, 11.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Accounts from developers of generic health state utility instruments explain why they produce different QALYs: a qualitative study

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AU - Lancsar, Emily

AU - Seymour, Janelle

AU - Parkin, David

AU - Donaldson, Cam

AU - M. Carter, Stacy

N1 - Acceptance from webpage OA article Added on behalf of author when Pure unavailable ET

PY - 2019/9/19

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N2 - Purpose and settingDespite the label “generic” health state utility instruments (HSUIs), empirical evidence shows that different HSUIs generate different estimates of Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) in the same person. Once a HSUI is used to generate a QALY, the difference between HSUIs is often ignored, and decision-makers act as if ‘a QALY is a QALY is a QALY’. Complementing evidence that different generic HSUIs produce different empirical values, this study addresses an important gap by exploring how HSUIs differ, and processes that produced this difference. 15 developers of six generic HSUIs used for estimating the QOL component of QALYs: Quality of Well-Being (QWB) scale; 15 Dimension instrument (15D); Health Utilities Index (HUI); EuroQol EQ-5D; Short Form-6 Dimension (SF-6D), and the Assessment of Quality of Life (AQoL) were interviewed in 2012–2013.Principal findingsWe identified key factors involved in shaping each instrument, and the rationale for similarities and differences across measures. While HSUIs have a common purpose, they are distinctly discrete constructs. Developers recalled complex developmental processes, grounded in unique histories, and these backgrounds help to explain different pathways taken at key decision points during the HSUI development. The basis for the HSUIs was commonly not equivalent conceptually: differently valued concepts and goals drove instrument design and development, according to each HSUI's defined purpose. Developers drew from different sources of knowledge to develop their measure depending on their conceptualisation of HRQoL.Major conclusions/contribution to knowledgeWe generated and analysed first-hand accounts of the development of the HSUIs to provide insight, beyond face value, about how and why such instruments differ. Findings enhance our understanding of why the six instruments developed the way they did, from the perspective of key developers of those instruments. Importantly, we provide additional, original explanation for why a QALY is not a QALY is not a QALY.

AB - Purpose and settingDespite the label “generic” health state utility instruments (HSUIs), empirical evidence shows that different HSUIs generate different estimates of Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) in the same person. Once a HSUI is used to generate a QALY, the difference between HSUIs is often ignored, and decision-makers act as if ‘a QALY is a QALY is a QALY’. Complementing evidence that different generic HSUIs produce different empirical values, this study addresses an important gap by exploring how HSUIs differ, and processes that produced this difference. 15 developers of six generic HSUIs used for estimating the QOL component of QALYs: Quality of Well-Being (QWB) scale; 15 Dimension instrument (15D); Health Utilities Index (HUI); EuroQol EQ-5D; Short Form-6 Dimension (SF-6D), and the Assessment of Quality of Life (AQoL) were interviewed in 2012–2013.Principal findingsWe identified key factors involved in shaping each instrument, and the rationale for similarities and differences across measures. While HSUIs have a common purpose, they are distinctly discrete constructs. Developers recalled complex developmental processes, grounded in unique histories, and these backgrounds help to explain different pathways taken at key decision points during the HSUI development. The basis for the HSUIs was commonly not equivalent conceptually: differently valued concepts and goals drove instrument design and development, according to each HSUI's defined purpose. Developers drew from different sources of knowledge to develop their measure depending on their conceptualisation of HRQoL.Major conclusions/contribution to knowledgeWe generated and analysed first-hand accounts of the development of the HSUIs to provide insight, beyond face value, about how and why such instruments differ. Findings enhance our understanding of why the six instruments developed the way they did, from the perspective of key developers of those instruments. Importantly, we provide additional, original explanation for why a QALY is not a QALY is not a QALY.

KW - Australia

KW - North America

KW - Europe

KW - Preference weighted quality of life instruments

KW - Health Utilities Index

KW - HUI

KW - EQ-5D

KW - Short Form 6D

KW - SF-6D

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DO - 10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.112560

M3 - Article

VL - 240

JO - Social Science and Medicine

JF - Social Science and Medicine

SN - 0277-9536

M1 - 112560

ER -