Think of the Children: A Discussion of the Rationale for and Implications of the Perspective Used for EQ-5D-Y Health State Valuation

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Abstract

Objectives: The recently published EQ-5D-Y valuation protocol prescribes the general public values EQ-5D-Y health states for a 10-year-old child. This child perspective differs from the individual perspective applied for valuation of adult EQ-5D instruments. This article discusses the rationale for and implications of applying a child perspective for EQ-5D-Y health state valuation. Methods: This article was informed by an exploration of the normative and empirical literature on health state valuation. We identified and summarized key discussion points in a narrative review. Results: Although valuing EQ-5D-Y health states from an individual perspective is feasible, it may be problematic for several reasons. The use of a child perspective implies that—rather than valuing one's own health—someone else's health is valued. This may require the projection of one's own beliefs, expectations, and preferences on others, which could change the decision processes underlying the elicited preferences. Furthermore, because preferences are obtained for a 10-year-old child, it is unclear if this given age as well as other (missing) information on the described child beneficiary (should) affect valuation of EQ-5D-Y health states. Conclusions: The change from an individual to a child perspective in the valuation of EQ-5D-Y will likely lead to differences in utilities. This has implications for the estimation of incremental health-related quality-of-life gains in economic evaluations of health technologies for children and adolescents and therefore might affect reimbursement decisions. Further research is necessary for gaining insight into the extent to which this impact is normatively and empirically justified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)976-982
Number of pages7
JournalValue in Health
Volume24
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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