Economic evaluation and health-related quality of life
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Health-related quality of life (HRQL) is concerned with the opportunities that a person's health status affords, the constraints that it places upon the person and the value that a person places on his or her health status. The rationale for measuring HRQL falls into three categories: discrimination, evaluation, and prediction. Measures have to meet generally accepted psychometric criteria such as acceptability, reliability/reproducibility, responsiveness, validity, interpretability, and usefulness. HRQL instruments have been designed for self-administration or administration by interviews and some have been adapted to multiple cultural/linguistic needs. For adolescents and young adults with cancer several instruments are available. Overall HRQL is compromised, to varying degrees, in such survivors by comparison with peers in the general population; and the burden of morbidity is greatest after brain and bone tumors. As there is a burden of treatment-related morbidity and as the number of survivors within the health care system is growing, the economic dimension of care and cure has to be taken into consideration. Economic evaluation affords a comparison of the costs and consequences (effects) of relevant therapeutic alternatives. The future research activities with respect to HRQL have to consider these new dimensions of care.
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