The Multi Instrument Comparison (MIC) project


Formal title: A cross-national comparison of 8 generic quality of life (QoL) instruments: 

NHMRC ID: 1006334

Chief Investigators: Richardson J (Monash University, Australia)
Cummins, R (Deakin University, Australia)
Olsen, J (University of Tromso, Norway)
Kaplan, R (UCLA, USA)
Coast, J (University of Birmingham, UK)
Schlander, M (Institute for Innovation and Valuation in Health Care, Germany)


Objective: To compare instruments purporting to measure quality of life; to use survey results to discriminate between the 6 multi attribute utility (MAU) instruments which are most commonly used for the economic evaluation of health programs and the allocation of health budgets



The instruments, respondents and countries included in the study are summarised in Tables 1-3.

Respondents self-reporting one of the disease conditions (depression, hearing loss, asthma, COPD, diabetes, arthritis, heart, cancer) also completed a disease specific questionnaire to confirm their condition and its severity (Table 3).

The instruments in the main questionnaire were administered in their entirety but in randomised order relative to each other.



Project Rationale

(i) Budgets are increasingly guided by economic evaluations which increasingly employ CUA. This technique relies upon multi attribute utility (MAU) instruments to include the quality of life. These instruments produce very different results and the allocation of a budget may depend upon the choice of MAU instrument. (ii) MAU and SWB (happiness) instruments have followed different theoretical and measurement traditions. The fields need integration. As a preliminary step towards determining the most appropriate instrument for measuring the value of health states, the relationship between SWB and MAU instruments should be understood. This project seeks to achieve this.


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