A preference-based method for assigning utilities to health states, in which the subject is asked how much time they are willing to sacrifice from a given lifespan in one health state to have a given number of years in perfect health. Thus, if H(.) denotes the index of health status, and two styles of living are ranked H(A) > H(B), one seeks experimentally to find how much shorter the time spent with H(A) should be to be of the same utility as a longer period in state H(B). Let t be the time spent in state H(B) and x the time spent in state H(A). One then seeks experimentally to vary x until the subject is indifferent between the two states:
The ratio x/t provides the utility of state H(B) relative to state H(A). If the latter is arbitrarily set as 1.0 (= perfect health), then the (ratio) scale for all such states of lower utility may be revealed. See Healthy-years Equivalent, Person Trade-off Method, Standard Gamble.
344 Timing of Costs and Benefits Timing of Costs and Benefits
Dating the occurrence of costs and benefits, usually as a prelude to their discounting. See Discounting.
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