Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989
CAMPOLINA, Alessandro Gonçalves and CICONELLI, Rozana Mesquita. Quality of life and utility measures: clinical parameters for decision-making in health. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2006, vol.19, n.2, pp.128-136. ISSN 1680-5348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892006000200013.
In recent decades, the international scientific community has become increasingly interested in the concept of quality of life. One of the most important implications of the focus on quality of life is a shift from "cure" to "a guarantee of a better life" as a health care goal, as well as the inclusion of individuals' preferences for certain health states in the decision-making process associated with treatments, diagnostic strategies, and health spending. This is especially important as the prevalence of chronic diseases increases as a result of the aging of the population. This piece describes the main concepts and applications related to this new health paradigm, including quality of life itself, utility measures, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and health decision analysis.
Keywords : costs and cost analysis; patient satisfaction; decision support techniques.