• Article

Valuing outcomes in health care A comparison of willingness to pay and quality-adjusted life-years

Quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and willingness to pay (WTP) are two preference-based measures of health-related outcomes. In this article, we compare these two measures in eliciting individuals’ preferences for health outcomes associated with shingles. To collect the necessary preference data, we administered computer-interactive interviews to a sample of 65- to 70-year-olds. We found no significant correlation between QALYs and WTP across individuals. We discuss our findings and argue that our results raise questions about whether QALYs and WTP are equivalent preference-based measures of health outcomes.


Bala, M., Wood, L., Zarkin, G., Norton, E., Gafni, A., & O'Brien, B. (1998). Valuing outcomes in health care: A comparison of willingness to pay and quality-adjusted life-years. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 51(8), 667-676. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0895-4356(98)00036-5