, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 503–520 | Cite as

Multi-Attribute Preference Functions

Health Utilities Index
  • George W. Torrance
  • William Furlong
  • David Feeny
  • Michael Boyle
Review Article Multi-Attribute Preference Functions


SummaryMulti-attribute utility theory. an extension of conventional utility theory, can be applied to model preference scores for health slates defined by multi-attribute health status classification systems. The type of preference independence among the attributes determines the type of preference function required: additive, multiplicative or multilinear. In addition, the type of measurement instrument used determines the type of preference score obtained: value or utility.

Multi-attribute utility theory has been applied to 2 recently developed multi-attribute health status classification systems the Health Utilities Index (HUI) Mark II and Mark III systems. Results are presented for the Mark system, and ongoing research is described for the Mark system. The theory is also discussed in the context of ocher well known multi-attribute systems.

The HUI system is an efficient method of determining a general public-based utility score for a specified health outcome or for the health status of an individual. In clinical populations, the scores can be used 10 provide a single summary measure of health-related quality of life. In cost-utility analyses, the scores can be used as quality weights for calculating quality-adjusted life years. In general populations, the measure can be used as quality weights for determining population health expectancy.


Utility Score Preference Score Health Utility Index Health Expectancy Quality Weight 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • George W. Torrance
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • William Furlong
    • 1
  • David Feeny
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Michael Boyle
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Health Economics and Policy AnalysisHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.Department of Management ScienceMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  4. 4.Department of EconomicsMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatryMcMaster UniversityHamilionCanada

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