Global Expert Panel Publishes New Recommendations on the Use of Health State Utilities in Cost-Effectiveness Models

Published Mar 29, 2019

A Report of an ISPOR Good Practices for Outcomes Research Task Force

Lawrenceville, NJ, USA—March 29, 2019—ISPOR—the professional society for health economics and outcomes research, announced today the publication of new recommendations from the Health State Utilities in Cost-Effectiveness Models ISPOR Good Practices for Outcomes Research Task Force. The report, “Identification, Review, and Use of Health State Utilities in Cost-Effectiveness Models: An ISPOR Good Practices for Outcomes Research Task Force Report,” was published in the March 2019 issue of Value in Health.

The task force report provides recommendations for researchers who identify, review, and synthesize health state utilities (HSUs) for use in cost-effectiveness models; analysts who use the results in models; and reviewers who critically appraise the suitability and validity of the HSUs selected for use in models. The report provides guidance regarding:
  1. The iterative nature of searching for HSUs, reviewing and synthesizing the evidence identified and their application in cost-effectiveness models
  2. Minimum reporting standards for HSUs used in cost-effectiveness models
  3. Use of HSUs in cost-effectiveness models
The task force report’s internationally applicable SpRUCE checklist should be used by reviewers of manuscripts and reports of modelling work to ensure the suitability, validity, and quality of the HSUs are sufficient to inform healthcare policy making. “This report provides guidance for identifying, reviewing, and synthesizing health state utilities from the literature and using health state utilities in cost-effectiveness models,” said author John Brazier, PhD, Dean and Professor of Health Economics, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England, UK. “This task force report was written to correct current poor practice in health state utility identification. Analysts frequently cite dated values used in previous cost-effectiveness models without undertaking basic quality checks of the data in the original source material, such as the relevance of the patient population, utility instrument, elicitation method or sources of the preference weights. These shortcuts can render the results uninterpretable when health state utilities derived from a variety of methods and populations are pieced together.” These task force recommendations and the ISPOR SpRUCE checklist offer a structured and more transparent basis for identifying and reporting the HSUs used in a cost-effectiveness model.” The Importance of Health State Utilities: Health state utilities, which estimate the value of a health state on a scale where 1 represents full health and 0 represents dead, are used to inform policy decisions in many parts of the world. Preference value estimates are usually obtained by querying a sample of the general population or a patient population. If HSUs are not available from clinical trial data and conducting a study to collect this evidence is not feasible, HSUs are often obtained from the literature. This approach can be problematic because analysts frequently cite outdated evidence used in previous evaluations, systematic reviews of the literature are rarely undertaken for HSUs, and current reporting standards of HSUs used in cost-effectiveness models are often poor. This is the third ISPOR Good Practices for Outcomes Research Task Force Report on the topic of HSUs. The previous reports are: Estimating Health-State Utility for Economic Models in Clinical Studies: an ISPOR Good Research Practices Task Force Report (2016) and Mapping to Estimate Health-State Utility from Non–Preference-Based Outcome Measures: An ISPOR Good Practices for Outcomes Research Task Force Report (2017).


ABOUT ISPOR ISPOR, the professional society for health economics and outcomes research (HEOR), is an international, multistakeholder, nonprofit dedicated to advancing HEOR excellence to improve decision making for health globally. The Society is the leading source for scientific conferences, peer-reviewed and MEDLINE®-indexed publications, good practices guidance, education, collaboration, and tools/resources in the field. Web: | LinkedIn: | Twitter: (@ISPORorg) | YouTube: | Facebook: | Instagram: ABOUT VALUE IN HEALTH Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) is an international, indexed journal that publishes original research and health policy articles that advance the field of health economics and outcomes research to help healthcare leaders make evidence-based decisions. The journal’s 2017 impact factor score is 5.494. Value in Health is ranked 3rd among 94 journals in healthcare sciences and services, 3rd among 79 journals in health policy and services, and 6th among 353 journals in economics. Value in Health is a monthly publication that circulates to more than 10,000 readers around the world. Web: | Twitter: (@ISPORjournals) ABOUT ISPOR GOOD PRACTICES FOR OUTCOMES RESEARCH TASK FORCE REPORTS ISPOR has earned an international reputation for research excellence based, in part, on its Good Practices for Outcomes Research Task Force Reports. These highly cited reports are expert consensus recommendations on good practice standards for outcomes research (clinical, economic, and patient-reported outcomes) and on the use of this research in healthcare decision making. ISPOR Task Forces comprise subject matter experts representing different stakeholders from diverse work environments (ie, regulators, payers, manufacturers, technology assessors, etc from research, government, academic, and industry sectors around the world). All ISPOR Good Practices for Outcomes Research Reports are published in the Society’s scientific journal, Value in Health, and are made freely available as part of the Society’s mission. The Society’s Good Practices for Outcomes Research Reports have been recognized with an ASAE “Power of A” award that acknowledges innovative, effective, and broad-reaching programs that have a positive impact on the world.

Related Stories

ISPOR Publishes New Top 10 HEOR Trends Report

Jan 16, 2024

ISPOR—The Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) announced the publication of its “2024-2025 Top 10 HEOR Trends Report.” The Society publishes this report as part of its horizon scanning and monitoring of the trends that affect healthcare decision making around the world.

ISPOR Launches HEOR News Desk

Oct 18, 2022

ISPOR announced that it has launched its HEOR News Desk, a new offering that selects and aggregates global news related to health economics and outcomes research (HEOR).

Global Expert Panel Publishes New Guidance on Designing and Conducting Real-World Evidence Studies

Oct 11, 2022

Value in Health, the official journal of ISPOR, announced the publication of a new template that provides a set of core recommendations for clear and reproducible real-world evidence study protocols.
Your browser is out-of-date

ISPOR recommends that you update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on Update my browser now