The PROMIS of QALYs Academic Article uri icon

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  • Measuring health and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is important for tracking the health of individuals and populations over time. Generic HRQoL measures allow for comparison across health conditions. One form of generic HRQoL measures are profile measures, which provide a description of health across several different domains (such as physical functioning, depression, and pain). Recent advances in health profile measurement include the development of measures based on item response theory. The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®) has been constructed using this theory. Another form of generic HRQoL measures are utility measures, which assess the value of health states. Multi-attribute utility theory provides a framework for valuing disparate domains of health and aggregating them into a single preference-based score. Such a score provides an overall measure of health outcomes as well as a quality of life weight for use in decision analyses and cost-effectiveness analyses. Developing a utility score for PROMIS® would allow simultaneous estimation of both health profile and utility scores using a single measure. The purpose of this paper is to provide a roadmap of the methodological steps necessary to create such a scoring system.


  • Hanmer, Janel
  • Feeny, David
  • Fischhoff, Baruch
  • Hays, Ron D
  • Hess, Rachel
  • Pilkonis, Paul A
  • Revicki, Dennis A
  • Roberts, Mark S
  • Tsevat, Joel
  • Yu, Lan

publication date

  • December 2015