Standard economic evaluations in health care measure the benefit of treatments in terms of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), which are measures that combine quality of life with length of life. The ‘quality’ adjustment is based on health-related aspects of quality of life. However, there are concerns that measures of health-related quality of life gain miss out important benefits of treatments that are not to do with health. At the same time, different measures are used in health care, social care and public health making it difficult to compare across these sectors, which is important when thinking about the wider government budget.
The Extending the QALY project aims to develop a broad measure of quality of life for use in economic evaluations across health and social care. There are three key distinctions between existing health and quality of life measures and this new instrument:
- Firstly, the new instrument will aim to capture the benefits of interventions in health, social care, and for carers.
- Secondly, the instrument will be made up of aspects of life that patients, social care users and carers think are important to them and are impacted by their health condition, the care or treatment they receive or their caring role.
- Thirdly, because the new instrument is intended to be used in economic evaluations that combine the benefits of extending years of life with improving quality of life (i.e. QALYs), it will need to be valued on a zero to one scale, where zero is equivalent to being dead and one is full quality of life.
Project overview Presentation