Editorials

Measuring health outcomes

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7048.6 (Published 06 July 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:6
  1. John Cairns
  1. Director Health Economics Research Unit, University Medical Buildings, Aberdeen AB9 2ZD

    Condition specific and patient specific measures are of limited use when allocating resources

    Despite widespread agreement on the need to consider quality of life in health care decisions, there is little agreement over which of a growing list of measures of quality of life should be used.There is no agreement over broad issues such as whose values should be incorporated in the measures and how different values should be weighted.

    Literally hundreds of condition specific and patient specific measures have been developed. Condition specific measures are popular in part because they offer the scope to capture the many different aspects of health that might influence quality of life. When compared with generic measures, which can be applied to all conditions, …

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