Monthly Archives: July 2014

Plotting data in R: An introduction

R is a commonly used piece of statistical software. It’s free, it’s flexible, and it has a huge user community. When you first experience success in using it, you will be amazed by what can be done with a piece

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Opportunity cost

Health systems do not have endless amounts of money, endless numbers of clinicians, or an infinite number of beds. In other words, they have constrained resources. When we have constrained resources, we have to choose what to use those resources

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Utility

Utility is one of those awkward concepts that is fundamental to economics, but actually rather difficult to define. Utility is important because economists often deal with situations in which things are compared that are not similar. The reason for this

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Is it worth living? Bill Hicks and smoking cessation

They proved that if you quit smoking, it will prolong your life. What they haven’t proved is that a prolonged life is a good thing. I haven’t seen the stats on that yet. (Bill Hicks, Dark Poet, 1991) So, you’re

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Time-Trade-Off (TTO)

Time-trade-off (TTO) is one way of measuring utility. This is important for the calculation of quality adjusted life-years (QALYs). In this approach, we ask individuals to trade time in one health state for a shorter period of time in a

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Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY)

Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) are a measure of the length of life adjusted for the quality of that life. The quality of life should be measured using utility, which is the extent to which a person values one health

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