Quality-adjusted life years was a poor predictor of women's willingness to pay in acute and chronic conditions: results of a survey
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OBJECTIVE: We investigated the relationship between quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and willingness to pay (WTP) in acute and chronic conditions. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Face-to-face interviews were used to collect data in a convenience sample of women. Participants completed one interview evaluating preferences for an acute condition, post-chemotherapy nausea and vomiting (PCNV), and the other interview for a chronic condition (breast cancer). Preferences were elicited for QALYs using visual analogue scale (VAS), and standard gamble in addition to WTP. Because QALYs and WTP are purportedly based on the same underlying theoretical foundations, WTP was regressed onto change in QALYs, age, income, and health status. RESULTS: Regression analysis reported statistically significant models for all breast cancer (P < .001) and PCNV (P < .05) conditions tested. However, QALY was not a significant predictor of WTP. CONCLUSION: The results of this study indicate QALYs was a poor predictor of WTP for the conditions tested. Linear combinations of change in QALYs, age, income, and health status were a better predictor of WTP for chronic than acute conditions. This can be attributed to violations of underlying assumptions in measurement of QALYs with acute conditions and to problems with the use of WTP with chronic conditions.
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