Considerable support for the use of person trade-off methods to assess the quality-adjustment factor in quality-adjusted life years (QALY) models has been expressed in the literature. The WHO has occasionally used similar methods to assess the disability weights for calculation of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). This paper discusses the theoretical support for the use of person trade-offs in QALY-type measurement of (changes in) population health. It argues that measures of this type based on such quality-adjustment factors almost always violate the Pareto principle, and so lack normative justification.
European Journal of Health Economics (print Edition), 2009, Vol 10, Issue 4, p. 429-436
QALY; DALY; Pareto principle; Social welfare; Faculty of Social Sciences