Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are important measures of the impact of healthcare interventions on patients' quality of life and well-being. Health economists can use PROs to assess the cost-effectiveness and value of healthcare interventions from a patient perspective. Here are some ways in which PROs can be included in health economic evaluations:
- Use of PRO instruments: Health economists can use validated PRO instruments, such as health-related quality of life questionnaires, to measure patients' self-reported health status and quality of life.
- Calculate quality-adjusted life years (QALYs): QALYs are a commonly used measure of the effectiveness of healthcare interventions, which take into account both the quantity and quality of life gained. Health economists can calculate QALYs by using a PRO instrument to generate a health state utility score, which is then multiplied by the length of time spent in that health state.
- Incorporate patient preferences: Health economists can incorporate patient preferences for different health states and outcomes into their economic evaluations, using methods such as discrete choice experiments or time trade-off exercises.
- Consider caregiver burden: In addition to assessing patients' own PROs, health economists can also consider the impact of healthcare interventions on caregivers' quality of life and well-being, and include this in their economic evaluations.
By including PROs in health economic evaluations, health economists can provide a more comprehensive assessment of the impact of healthcare interventions on patients' quality of life and well-being, and help to inform healthcare decision-making from a patient-centred perspective.