One of the important distinctions in methods of measuring health-related quality of life in clinical research is between those that measure health status, on the one hand, and those that measure utility for health states, on the other. Health status measures describe functioning and the impact of illness on one or several aspects of health.
In this chapter, we describe:
Some commonly used health status measures;
The standard utility, or preference-based, measures (also called "health values");
How utilities are used;
Issues that must be addressed in studies using utilities; and
Tools to assist utility assessment.