18 April 2018

Dead should be assigned the value 0 in economic models combining survival and quality of life, such as the Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY) model. This is a result found by researchers Bram Roudijk, Rogier Donders and Peep Stalmeier of the Department for Health Evidence and was published in Medical Decision Making on April 9th , 2018.

The considerations for setting dead at zero
The main reason for setting dead at zero is that in multiplicative models, there should be a health state for which one is indifferent to the duration of that health state. Only dead is a candidate to be this health state.

Effects on decision making
The position of dead needs to be carefully established, as it determines the relative importance of life-improving and life-saving treatments in the allocation of resources in health care.

Publication
Setting Dead at Zero: Applying Scale Properties to the QALY Model
Bram Roudijk, A. Rogier T. Donders, Peep F.M. Stalmeier

This research was conducted within the theme Healthcare improvement science.

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