“Back to the future”: Influence of beliefs regarding the future on TTO answers



Abstract Background A common approach to obtain health state valuations is the time-tradeoff (TTO) method. Much remains unknown regarding the influence of responder characteristics on TTO answers. The objective of this study is to increase understanding of the influence that beliefs regarding future health and death, as well as desires to witness certain life events, have on respondents’ health state valuations. Methods An online survey was designed, including three TTO questions using a 10 year timeframe. Moreover, respondents completed demographic questions, the Health-Risk Attitude Scale (HRAS), the Expectations Regarding Aging (ERA) questionnaire, questions about beliefs regarding future health (i.e. life expectancy) and death (i.e. fear of death, belief in life after death and opinion about euthanasia), and about important life events taking place within the TTO timeframe. Regression analyses were performed in order to assess the influence of these different variables. Results One thousand sixty-seven respondents were included in the analyses. The following variables were significantly associated with years traded off: ERA mental health (decrease), ERA physical health (increase), HRAS (increase), support for euthanasia (increase), fear of death (decrease) and consideration of an important life event (decrease). The explained variance of the final model was low (0.08). Conclusion TTO responses may be influenced by considerations of future health, including life events and attitudes regarding health risks and death. Further investigation of TTO responses remains warranted.
Date made available2016

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