Quality of Life (QoL) instruments are often considered similar, since they all concern subjective health state valuations. Actually, among the set of QoL scales, it is possible to distinguish two approaches, different in terms of both goals and tools. The clinical approach elicits functional limitations as perceived by patients, the economic approach is aimed at solving allocation problems generated by scarsity of resources. The major goal of this article is to analyse the economic approach to health state subjective valuation. By using QoL questionnaires, economists attempt to set up quantitative indexes which can value any kind of health outcome. Thus the economic approach seems to be more ambitious than the clinical one. However, the results so far achieved are quite disappointing, especially if compared to those of the clinical approach. In particular, economic scales still suffer a general lack of validation, due to the scarcity of studies conducted on relevant samples. Accordingly, indexes now available seem to require substantial revision. In general, further significant efforts seem necessary to improve the methodology inside the field of HRQoL measures. Integrating the two approaches, as recently attempted, could be a sound strategy.
|Translated title of the contribution||Health status indicators: features of the economic approach|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Epidemiologia e prevenzione|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|