The time horizon matters: results of an exploratory study varying the timeframe in time trade-off and standard gamble utility elicitation Academic Article uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to examine whether the time horizon of time trade-off (TTO) and standard gamble (SG) utility assessment influences utility scores and discrimination between health states. METHODS: In two phases, UK general population participants rated three osteoarthritis health states in TTO and SG procedures with two time horizons: (1) 10-year and (2) a time horizon derived from self-reported additional life expectancy (ALE). The two time horizons were compared in terms of mean utilities and discrimination among health states. RESULTS: In Phase 1, the 10-year tasks were completed by 80 participants, 35 of whom also completed utility assessment with the ALE. In Phase 2, all 101 participants completed procedures with both time horizons. Utility scores tended to be lower with the ALE than the 10-year, a difference that was statistically significant for two health states with SG in Phase 1 (P < 0.05), two health states with TTO in Phase 2 (P < 0.01), and one health state with SG in Phase 2 (P < 0.001). In Phase 1, rates of discrimination between mild and moderate osteoarthritis health states were significantly higher with the ALE than the 10-year (TTO: P = 0.03; SG: P = 0.001). This pattern of discrimination was similar in Phase 2. DISCUSSION: Results suggest that the time horizon could influence utility scores and discrimination among health states. When designing utility evaluations, researchers should carefully consider the time horizon so that the value of health states is accurately represented in cost-utility models.


  • Matza, Louis S
  • Boye, Kristina S
  • Feeny, David
  • Bowman, Lee
  • Johnston, Joseph A
  • Stewart, Katie D
  • McDaniel, Kelly
  • Jordan, Jessica

publication date

  • November 2016

has subject area