Estimating Joint Health Condition Utility Values [Editor's Choice]



To predict health state utility values (HSUVs) for individuals with up to 4 conditions simultaneously.


Person-level data were taken from the General Practice Patient Survey, a national survey of adult patients registered with general practices in England. Individuals reported whether they had any 1 of 16 chronic conditions and completed the 3-level EuroQol 5-dimensional questionnaire. Four nonparametric methods (additive, multiplicative, minimum, and the adjusted decrement estimator) and 1 parametric estimator (the linear index) were used to predict HSUVs for individuals with a joint health condition (JHC). Predicted and actual utility scores were compared for precision using root mean square error and mean absolute error. Bias was assessed using mean error.


The analysis included 929,565 individuals, of which 30.5% had at least 2 conditions. Of the nonparametric estimators, the multiplicative approach produced estimates with the lowest bias and most precision for 2 JHCs. For populations with a long-term mental health condition within the JHC, the multiplicative approach overestimated utility scores. All nonparametric methods produced biased results when estimating HSUVs for 3 or 4 JHCs. The linear index generally produced unbiased results with the highest precision.


The multiplicative approach was the best nonparametric estimator when estimating HSUVs for 2 JHCs. None of the nonparametric approaches for estimating HSUVs can be recommended with more than 2 JHCs. The linear index was found to have good predictive properties but needs external validation before being recommended for routine use.


Alexander J. Thompson Matthew Sutton Katherine Payne

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