Quality adjusted life years (QALYs)

An index of survival that is adjusted to account for the patient’s quality of life during this time. QALYs have the advantage of incorporating changes in both quantity (longevity/mortality) and quality (morbidity, psychological, functional, social and other factors) of life. Used to measure benefits in cost-utility analysis. The QALYs gained are the mean QALYs associated with one treatment minus the mean QALYs associated with an alternative treatment.