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J Health Econ. 1997 Feb;16(1):113-9.

The importance of patient preferences for comorbidities in cost-effectiveness analyses.

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Division of General Internal Medicine, Stanford University, CA, USA.


When using cost-effectiveness analyses to prioritize the allocation of health care resources across patients, a standard definition of effectiveness must be used. In an informal review of cost-effectiveness analyses, we found a heterogeneity in the methods used to qualify adjust years of life. Many studies do not account for the morbid conditions that patients experience other than the index condition being studied. These studies systematically overstate health benefit relative to studies that do for comorbidities. We recommend that patient preferences for comorbid conditions be incorporated into analyses to allow a consistent and facile comparison of cost-utility ratios for societal decision making.

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