Are subjective well-being measures any better than decision utility measures?

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

There are a number of substantial problems with using decision-based utility measures such as the time trade off and standard gamble to value improvements in health. Dolan (this issue) argues that because of these problems, it would be better to use measures of real experiences (subjective well being). We review evidence that supports criticisms of decision-based utility measures, whether provided by patients or non-patients. But we also review a number of substantial problems with currently used measures of subjective well-being, and point out that there is no definitive evidence that they represent any improvement over decision utility measures. We conclude with a call for expanded research into developing new tools for quantifying health-related quality of life that are more valid, more sensitive to changes in health status, and less biased.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Smith, DM; Brown, SL; Ubel, PA

Published Date

  • January 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 3 / Pt 1

Start / End Page

  • 85 - 91

PubMed ID

  • 18634635

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1744-134X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1744-1331

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/s1744133107004367


  • eng