Valuing QALYS at the end of life

Jose Luis Pinto Prades, Fernando-Ignacio Sánchez-Martínez, Belen Corbacho, Rachel Baker

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The possibility of weighting QALYs differently for different groups of patients has been a source of debate. Most recently, this debate has been extended to the relative value of QALYs at the end of life (EoL). The objective of this study is to provide evidence of societal preferences in relation to this topic. Three cross-sectional surveys were conducted amongst Spanish general population (n = 813). Survey 1 compared increases in life expectancy for EoL patients with health gains from temporary health problems. Survey 2 compared health gains for temporary health problems with quality of life gains at the EoL (palliative care). Survey 3 compared increases in life expectancy with quality of life gains, both for EoL patients. Preferences were elicited using Person Trade-Off (PTO) and Willingness to pay (WTP) techniques presenting two different durations of health benefit (6 and 18 months). Health benefits, measured in QALYs, were held constant in all comparisons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-14
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Early online date2 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • health economics
  • end of life treatments
  • person trade off
  • willingness to pay (WTP)

Cite this

Pinto Prades, J. L., Sánchez-Martínez, F-I., Corbacho, B., & Baker, R. (2014). Valuing QALYS at the end of life. Social Science and Medicine, 113, 5-14.