QALYs vs DALYs vs LYs gained: What are the differences, and what difference do they make for health care priority setting?

  • Bjarne Robberstad

Abstract

QALYs, DALYs and life years gained are all common outcome measures in economic evaluations of health interventions. While the latter is a pure measure of mortality, QALYs and DALYs are measures that combine mortality with morbidity in single numerical units, an exercise involving trade-offs between quantity for quality of health. Some authors have argued that mortality and morbidity are totally different dimensions, and combining them into a single numerical unit is nonsensious. Others have argued that the exercise is necessary in order to convert principles for resource allocation to criteria that can be used in a consistent manner. This paper has a two-fold objective, namely to discuss the differences between these health measures, and to explore what difference they are likely to make for health care priority setting in sub-Saharan Africa.
Published
2009-10-09
How to Cite
Robberstad, B. (2009). QALYs vs DALYs vs LYs gained: What are the differences, and what difference do they make for health care priority setting?. Norsk Epidemiologi, 15(2). https://doi.org/10.5324/nje.v15i2.217