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Elicitation and modelling of imprecise utility of health states

Michał Jakubczyk () and Dominik Golicki
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Michał Jakubczyk: SGH Warsaw School of Economics
Dominik Golicki: Medical University of Warsaw

Theory and Decision, 2020, vol. 88, issue 1, No 4, 71 pages

Abstract: Abstract Utilities of health states are often estimated to support public decisions in health care. People’s preferences may be imprecise, for lack of actual trade-off experience. We show how to elicit the utilities accounting for imprecision (using fuzzy sets), discover the main drivers of imprecision, and compare several approaches to modelling health state utility data in the fuzzy setting. We extended the time trade-off (TTO) questionnaire, to elicit utilities of states defined in the EQ-5D-3L descriptive system (health described by five dimensions) in184 respondents. Our study demonstrates that respondents are capable of assessing their own imprecision and rigorous mathematical modelling is possible. The imprecision is larger than as inferred from the standard TTO method and is larger than estimation error, even in our smallish sample. Non-trading in TTO often results from imprecision, rather than lexicographic preferences for longevity over quality. People are especially imprecise in assessing the impact of usual activities (one of the dimensions) on utility; also, the internal inconsistency of a health state increases the imprecision. Fuzzy least squares method seems best suited to assign disutilities to individual dimensions, while separately modelling the location of utility and amount of imprecision seems best to produce value sets. If crisp parameters are estimated, accounting for imprecision changes the results little.

Keywords: Quality-adjusted life years; Preference elicitation; Utility; Imprecise preferences; Time trade-off; Fuzzy modelling; 91B08; 91B16; 03E72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11238-019-09707-6

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