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Med Decis Making. 2001 Jul-Aug;21(4):288-94.

An off-the-shelf help list: a comprehensive catalog of preference scores from published cost-utility analyses.

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  • 1Program on the Economic Evaluation of Medical Technology, Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.



The Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine recommends an organized collection of preference measure values for health states that can be used in costutility analyses (CUAs). The authors sought to construct a catalog of preference scores from published CUAs, organize the catalog by clinical categories, and identify methods of preference score assessment.


The authors systematically searched Medline and other databases to identify original CUAs published through 1997. Information was abstracted on the health state descriptions, corresponding preference scores, method of preference score elicitation, and the source of the estimate.


Two hundred twenty-eight CUAs were appraised. The authors found 949 health states and corresponding preference scores. Most frequently, health states pertained to the circulatory system (21.7%), health states were valued by experts (35.8%), and values were derived through community-based preference scores (23.5%).


A catalog of preference scores for health states can be constructed. The catalog ( intro.html) may provide a useful reference tool for producers and consumers of CUAs but also underscores the methodologic variation and inconsistencies present in the field.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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