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Value Health. 2013 Jan-Feb;16(1):202-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2012.10.010.

Mapping to obtain EQ-5D utility values for use in NICE health technology assessments.

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  • 1Health Economics Research Group, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK.


Quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) are widely used as an outcome for the economic evaluation of health interventions. However, preference-based measures used to obtain health-related utility values to produce QALY estimates are not always included in key clinical studies. Furthermore, organizations responsible for reviewing or producing health technology assessments (HTAs) may have preferred instruments for obtaining utility estimates for QALY calculations. Where data using a preference-based measure or the preferred instrument have not been collected, it may be possible to "map" or "crosswalk" from other measures of health outcomes. The aims of this study were 1) to provide an overview of how mapping is currently used as reported in the published literature and in an HTA policy-making context, specifically at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the United Kingdom, and 2) to comment on best current practice on the use of mapping for HTA more generally. The review of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance found that mapping has been used since first established but that reporting of the models used to map has been poor. Recommendations for mapping in HTA include an explicit consideration of the generalizability of the mapping function to the target sample, reporting of standard econometric and statistical tests including the degree of error in the mapping model across subsets of the range of utility values, and validation of the model(s). Mapping can provide a route for linking outcomes data collected in a trial or observational study to the specific preferred instrument for obtaining utility values. In most cases, however, it is still advantageous to directly collect data by using the preferred utility-based instrument and mapping should usually be viewed as a "second-best" solution.

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