Cost-effectiveness analysis has been recommended by national health agencies worldwide. In the United Kingdom, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence supports the use of generic health-related quality of life instruments such as EuroQol EQ-5D when quality-adjusted life-years are used to measure health benefits. Despite the urgent need for appropriate methodologies to improve the use of scarce resources in Latin American countries, little is known about how health is valued.Methods
A national population survey was conducted in the United States in 2002, based on a sample of 1603 non-Hispanic nonblacks and 1115 Hispanics. Participants provided time trade-off utilities for a subset of 42 EQ-5D health states. Hispanic respondents were grouped according to their language preferences (Spanish or English). Mean utilities were compared for each health state. A random-effects model was used to determine whether real population differences exist after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics. A population value set for all 243 EQ-5D health states was developed using only the data from Spanish-speaking Hispanics.Results
Mean valuations differed slightly between non-Hispanic nonblacks and English-speaking Hispanics. Spanish-speaking Hispanics, however, tended to give higher valuations than non-Hispanic nonblacks (P< 0.05) corresponding to an average of 0.034 point. A regression model was developed for Spanish-speaking Hispanics with a mean absolute error of 0.031. Values estimated using this model show marked differences when compared with corresponding values estimated using the UK (N3) and US (D1) models.Conclusion
The availability of a Hispanic model for EQ-5D valuations represents a significant new option for decision-makers, providing a set of social preference weights for use in Latin American countries that presently lack their own domestic value set.