Estimating Cost-Effectiveness Using Alternative Preference-Based Scores and Within-Trial Methods: Exploring the Dynamics of the Quality-Adjusted Life-Year Using the EQ-5D 5-Level Version and Recovering Quality of Life Utility Index [Editor's Choice]



This study aimed to explore quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) and subsequent cost-effectiveness estimates based on the more physical health–focused EQ-5D 5-level version (EQ-5D-5L) value set for England or cross-walked EQ-5D 3-level version UK value set scores or more mental health recovery-focused Recovering Quality of Life Utility Index (ReQoL-UI), when using alternative within-trial statistical methods. We describe possible reasons for the different QALY estimates based on the interaction between item scores, health state profiles, preference-based scores, and mathematical and statistical methods chosen.


QALYs are calculated over 8 weeks from a case study 2:1 (intervention:control) randomized controlled trial in patients with anxiety or depression. Complete case and with missing cases imputed using multiple-imputation analyses are conducted, using unadjusted and regression baseline-adjusted QALYs. Cost-effectiveness is judged using incremental cost-effectiveness ratios and acceptability curves. We use previously established psychometric results to reflect on estimated QALYs.


A total of 361 people (241:120) were randomized. EQ-5D-5L crosswalk produced higher incremental QALYs than the value set for England or ReQoL-UI, which produced similar unadjusted QALYs, but contrasting baseline-adjusted QALYs. Probability of cost-effectiveness Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, anxiety) measures.


ReQoL-UI produced contradictory cost-effectiveness results relative to the EQ-5D-5L. The EQ-5D-5L’s better responsiveness and “anxiety/depression” and “usual activities” items drove the incremental QALY results. The ReQoL-UI’s single physical health item and “personal recovery” construct may have influenced its lower 8-week incremental QALY estimates in this patient sample.


Matthew Franklin Rachael Maree Hunter Angel Enrique Jorge Palacios Derek Richards

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