Disability-adjusted life years: a critical review

Disability-adjusted life years: a critical review The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) has emerged in the international health policy lexicon as a new measure of the ‘burden of disease’. We argue that the conceptual and technical basis for DALYs is flawed, and its assumptions and value judgements are open to serious question. In particular, the implications of age-weighting and discounting are found to be unacceptable. Moreover, the proponents of DALYs do not distinguish between the exercises of measuring the burden of disease and of allocating resources. But the appropriate information sets for the two exercises are quite different. Allocating resources by aggregate DALY-minimization is shown to be inequitable. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Health Economics Elsevier

Disability-adjusted life years: a critical review

Journal of Health Economics, Volume 16 (6) – Dec 1, 1997

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 1997 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0167-6296
eISSN
1879-1646
DOI
10.1016/S0167-6296(97)00005-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) has emerged in the international health policy lexicon as a new measure of the ‘burden of disease’. We argue that the conceptual and technical basis for DALYs is flawed, and its assumptions and value judgements are open to serious question. In particular, the implications of age-weighting and discounting are found to be unacceptable. Moreover, the proponents of DALYs do not distinguish between the exercises of measuring the burden of disease and of allocating resources. But the appropriate information sets for the two exercises are quite different. Allocating resources by aggregate DALY-minimization is shown to be inequitable.

Journal

Journal of Health EconomicsElsevier

Published: Dec 1, 1997

References

  • Designing and implementing packages of essential health services
    Bobadilla, J.-L.; Cowley, P.
  • Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries
    Jamison, D.T.; Mosley, W.H.; Measham, A.R.; Bobadilla, J.-L.

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