An Investigation of the Feasibility and Cultural Appropriateness of Stated Preference Methods to Generate Health State Values in the United Arab Emirates


No five-level EuroQol five-dimensional questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L) value sets are currently available in the Middle East to inform decision making in the region’s health care systems.

To test the feasibility of eliciting EQ-5D-5L values from a general public sample in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) using the EuroQol Group’s standardized valuation protocol.

Values were elicited in face-to-face computer-assisted personal interviews. Adult Emiratis were recruited in public places. Respondents completed 10 time trade-off tasks and 7 discrete choice experiment tasks, followed by debriefing questions about their experience of completing the valuation tasks. Descriptive analyses were used to assess the face validity of the data.

Two hundred respondents were interviewed in December 2013. The face validity of the data appears to be reasonably high. Mean time trade-off values ranged from 0.81 for the mildest health state (21111) to 0.19 for the worst health state in the EQ-5D-5L descriptive system (55555). Health states were rarely valued as being worse than dead (6.2% of all observations; 10% of all valuations of 55555). In a rationality check discrete choice experiment task whereby a health state (55554) was compared with another that logically dominated it (55211), 99.5% of the respondents chose the dominant option. Most of the respondents stated that their religious beliefs influenced their responses to the valuation tasks.

Our results suggest that it is feasible to generate meaningful health-state values in the UAE, though some adaptation of the methods may be required to improve their acceptability in the UAE (and other countries with predominantly Arab and/or Muslim populations).
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