Multiattribute Structure for QALYs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Health status is inherently a multiattribute construct. We examine multiattribute utility decompositions for the quality-adjusted life year (QALY) utility model commonly employed in medical decision and cost-effectiveness analyses. We consider several independence conditions on preference, including the classical notions of preferential independence and utility independence, as well as new related notions of standard-gamble independence and time-tradeoff independence. The latter conditions are helpful in simplifying standard-gamble utility assessment procedures and time-tradeoff assessment procedures in the presence of multiple health attributes. Under the QALY model, all these conditions are equivalent and result in a purely multiplicative decomposition of utility over health states.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-216
JournalDecision Analysis
StatePublished - 2004


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