Blog Archives

Latent variable regression – an idea

This post arose because of a discussion with some colleagues about the measurement of utility and health-related quality of life in cancer. It covers latent variable regression and an attempt to use it to describe the relationship between a common

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Drug prices, lost opportunities, and the real cost of healthcare

Last month, the news was flooded (well, mildly soaked at least) with claims that the NHS is paying too much for drugs. My favourite headline was from the Telegraph, which claimed that researchers thought the ‘NHS should stop buying drugs

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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 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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