Application of Multi-Attribute Utility Theory to Measure Social Preferences for Health States
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A four-attribute health state classification system designed to uniquely categorize the health status of all individuals two years of age and over is presented. A social preference function defined over the health state classification system is required. Standard multi-attribute utility theory is investigated for the task, problems are identified and modifications to the standard method are proposed. The modified methods is field tested in a survey research project involving 112 home interviews. Results are presented and discussed in detail for both the social preference function and the performance of the modified method. A recommended social preference function is presented, complete with a range of uncertainty. The modified method is found to be applicable to the task--no insurmountable difficulties are encountered. Recommendations are presented, based on our experience, for other investigators who may be interested in reapplying the method in other studies.
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